The World Bank has partnered with the Bank of Industry to provide a $158m lifeline to 650,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria.
According to the BoI Growth Platform’s Aid for Productivity Report, the fund will be dedicated to loan subsidies, operations grants, and tech-support grants for vulnerable MSMEs in 30 participating states.
The report, which was co-authored by the BoI Executive Director, Toyin Adedeji, and Chief Operating Officer of the Growth Platform, Uzoma Nwagba, chronicles the development, impact, and future of BoI’s growth platform.
The report noted that in December 2020, the World Bank approved the Nigeria Covid-19 Recovery and Economic Stimulus programme, committing $750m to address core socioeconomic challenges imposed on poorer Nigerians by the pandemic.
The aim of NG-CARES is to increase access to livelihood and food security services, and to disburse targeted grants to eligible households and businesses, the report stated.
The report said, “Owing to the dynamic potential and proven track record of the Growth Platform, as well as the team’s existing participation in COVID-19 relief schemes, the World Bank has partnered with the platform to manage and deliver ‘Result Area 3’: a $158m fund dedicated to loan subsidies, operations grants, and tech-support grants for 650,000 vulnerable MSMEs in 30 participating states.
“The programme will harness the Growth Platform’s well-established infrastructure and expertise, from the initial profiling of businesses to the disbursement of grants.
“These grants aim to cushion the economic impact of COVID-19 on struggling businesses, as well as build their resilience by expanding their access to digital technology and operational support.”
According to the BoI, the plan is currently being finalised, with each programme customised to fit the context.
The bank described the Growth Platform as tech-driven, providing flexible systems and operations that have the capacity to transform communities across Africa and beyond.