SMEDAN Extends Moratorium on OLOP Loans

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has extended the repayment moratorium granted to the One Local Government One Product (OLOP) beneficiaries to one year.

This was disclosed by SMEDAN Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Dikko Umaru Radda, in a press statement from the agency’s Corporate Affairs Department.

In early April, SMEDAN had approved a three-month moratorium to beneficiaries of this programme, but has now extended it further.

Mr Radda explained that the decision was made in order to help continue to alleviate conditions that beneficiaries have come across due to the current economic situation caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Conscious of the fact that the MSMEs are critical to the sustenance of the nations economy, the agency at the beginning of the year granted OLOP beneficiaries a three- month moratorium extension on their repayments.

“After studying the current trends regarding the global pandemic as it has affected the country, management has agreed to further extend the moratorium to one year with effect from April this year.” he said.

The SMEDAN boss then urged participating Micro Finance Banks (MFBS) to take note for compliance with the latest directive.

He also appealled to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to consider the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N50 billion COVID-19 intervention fund for the sub-sector and households.

Last year, SMEDAN disbursed about N500 million to beneficiaries of the OLOP project involving MSMEs in 109 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across the country.

Beneficiaries who came under cooperative societies were able to access between N3 million to N5 million for both the machinery and working capital needed to achieve their business objectives.

SMEDAN’s vision is to cover the 774 local government areas of the country under the OLOP programme. So far, the agency has covered 218 local governments areas with the support of the federal government.

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