German firm pledges N97.5bn for Nigerian industrialists

A total sum of €300m (N97.5bn) has been set aside by a German investment group, CUBE Commodities Company, to finance small-scale industrialists in Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer, CUBE Commodities Company, Dr. Dean Nguyen, gave the figure on Monday in Abuja during a meeting with members of the National Association of Small-Scale Industrialists.

He said the partnership with NASSI was borne out of the conviction that industrialisation was key to economic development and poverty reduction.

The partnership, according to him, will enable the group to provide the N97.5bn at a low interest rate for industrial development, technology transfer and market development for NASSI members’ products in Europe and Asia.

This, he said, would help to develop the potential of small-scale companies operating in Nigeria.

Nguyen stated, “We are in Nigeria to confirm our readiness and ability to partner with the Nigerian government and NASSI through joint efforts to make Nigeria great.

“We want to confirm to NASSI members that we are ready to start a project funding programme with about €300m at lower interest rate with the support by Nigerian development banks such as the Bank of Industry, Nigeria Export-Import Bank and Bank of Agriculture through the issuance of confirmed guarantees to our prime bank.”

The President of NASSI, Mr. Ezekiel Essien, said the association had prepared a five-year strategic plan, which would lead to the establishment of industrial parks in the six geo-political zones of the country.

The plan, he noted, would also enable the association to set up a microfinance bank, is expected to start operations before the end of the first quarter of this year