Leaders of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMES have appealed the Federal Government to facilitate easy access to business finance for the operators in the sub-sector.

They made the appeal at the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme Advocacy Platform, GAP, held in Abuja.

Government Enterprise Empowerment programme, GEEP is a Federal Government Initiative aimed at promoting easy access to business fund for operators at the micro, small and medium Enterprise MSME, sub-sector, including market women, traders, Artisans and farmers.

The programme provides access of between ₦10, 000 and ₦100, 000 interest free loan to be paid weekly for a period of six months with a 5% management fee, paid along with the loan.

Regrettably, easy access to these loans remains a major challenge facing the targeted beneficiaries.

Some other challenges raised at the Advocacy Forum included cumbersome registration process late disbursement of loans and reduction in loan amounts.

Addressing the participants, the chairperson, Government E enterprise Empowerment Programme Advocacy platform, GAP, Mrs. Rose Diyar said the forum was to brainstorm on strategies that would engender easy and inclusive access to business finance by operators especially those at the rural areas.

Also, the National Team Leader, Department for International Development, DFID and Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn, PERL, Dr. Adiya Ode called on the Bank of industry to ensure that all registered and accredited beneficiaries were given the loans that they applied for.

To the coordinator GEEP Advocacy Platform, GAP, Mrs. Zainab Muhammed there was the need to reduce requirements for loans disbursement to achieve the objective of the programme.

The representatives of the Presidential Delivery Unit Office of the Vice president, Mr. Michael Amechi promised that all the bottlenecks associated with access to the loans would be removed.

Some of the participants, who came from different parts of the country, described the programme as a lead way to addressing their plights in accessing loans and expressed the hope that the recommendations would be implemented.