States divert N220bn SMEs fund, group alleges - By Ijeoma UKONU

States divert N220bn SMEs fund, group alleges

By Ijeoma UKONU

Disturbed by what it described as lack of due process on the part of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on the disbursement of the N220 billion fund meant for micro, small and medium enterprises development fund, a non-profit advocacy group, Small And Medium Enterprise Advocacy and Support Initiative, MSMEASI, has frowned at the apex bank over its action.

It said the disbursement of the fund directly to state government accounts is against the guideline of the initiative.

In a statement made available to our correspondent signed by the group’s Head, Celestine Okeke, he said the group undertook an independent probe on the matter and discovered that the process which led to the disbursement was in  contravention of the guideline of the initiative and feared that the said fund have been misappropriated by state governments.

Okeke pointed out that the fund due to MSMEs in each benefitting state ought to have been disbursed to the corresponding banks of the participating financial institutions and notice of such disbursement sent to the state governments, “CBN disbursed directly to state governments in contravention of the guideline and hence created an avenue for misappropriation of the funds by the governors.

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