Nigeria to give $268 million support for entrepreneurs and innovators

Nigeria to give $268 million support for entrepreneurs and innovators

- The Nigerian government has announced a plan to provide funding for entrepreneurs and innovators to the tune of $268 million

- Out of the amount, $248 million would be given out as soft loans by the country's central bank

- The remaining $20 million has been set aside as funding for young technological entrepreneurs in the country

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The Nigerian government has approved a $268 million facility to support entrepreneurs and innovators in the country.

The beneficiaries were selected from the agricultural and technological sectors, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo stated.

One tranche of the funding worth $248 million, would be given out by the central bank as soft loans.

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This, per a Bloomberg report, would be made available primarily for people starting small scale-agricultural businesses.

Another $20 million, YEN.com.gh has learned, is to provide funding for young technological entrepreneurs, according to the presidency.

The decision to give out the monies is in line with attempts to diversify the country’s economy.

Ultimately, the plan is to create options outside the oil industries by increasing productivity in the non-oil industries.

In other news, Ghana has initiated a process of restructuring expensive energy contracts as it seeks to reduce costs in that sector.

In that respect, it is considering a plan to buy out debts of independent power producers in a bid to reduce its power bill. Ghana, regarded as West Africa’s second biggest economy, pays about $500 million every year for power it does not consume.

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Per a Bloomberg report, talks are underway to ensure that the practice is halted as soon as possible.

YEN.com.gh understands that such deals, in which the government pays for power whether or not supplies were needed, have left the country with almost double the generation capacity it requires to meet peak demand of 2,700 megawatts.

Information available shows that the government intends to take over loans of companies from financial institutions.

This would be done through the state-owned Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund at less challenging repayment terms.

The government has also opened talks with multilateral lenders such as the African Development Bank and International Finance Corp. to join as investors.

It has been estimated that a cheaper source of finance would reduce producers’ costs. In exchange, the government would demand would require that it only pays for powers it needs.

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Source: Yen

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