Citibank Assigns $390,000 to Empower SMEs

The Managing Director, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Omar Hafeez, said that the bank and Citi Foundation has committed over $390,000 to improve the lives of micro-entrepreneurs and small scale farmers in rural areas in the last six years.

Speaking in Abuja at the Citibank/Growing Business Foundation (GBF) awards for micro-entrepreneurship held as a part of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) annual microfinance conference and awards programme, he said the bank had in 2012 earmarked $90,000 to help implement a pilot project of the Citi Microenterprises Development for Rural Farmers (CMDRF), a total sum of $200,000 had been committed to the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the last one year and  another sum of $110,000 had been committed to the execution of the second phase of CMDRF this year to support three other LGAs in the state including Tofa, Rogo and Kabo.

He said the initiative had empowered 105 small scale farmers with farming inputs for the current planting season and had provided them with basic financial training to prepare them for low interest loans which started in Gagbasawa local government area (LGA) of Kano State. This made the bank to have succeeded in working with its partners to link farmers with buyers and end users of their crops at guaranteed prices prior o harvest.