The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release funds to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable them overcome the harsh business environment in the country.
The Presidency has defended the recent distribution of N10, 000 each to traders in the various open markets in Bayelsa State.
It explained that the action was not with the intention of buying their votes as being speculated by some people.
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on the Social Investment Programme, Maryam Uwais, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
She spoke against the background that the action was aimed at wooing voters in the state ahead of the November governorship election.
Uwais maintained that the SIP was not meant to solicit support for the All Progressives Congress.
The presidential aide said she led her team to Bayelsa State recently on the invitation of Governor Seriake Dickson, who she said lamented the poor disbursement of Trader moni in the state.
She said, “The allegation that we only target states where elections are coming up is not correct. It is very disheartening that people are not listening to those that monitor us and we have been on this work since 2016.
“I went to Bayelsa recently because the governor asked me to explain why the programme was low in Bayelsa State. He asked me if it was because they (Bayelsa State Government) are in a different political party and I said no.
“I told him that the problem we had was that there was a security challenge in the state and he said he would give us security cover and that was how we mobilised and went to the state”.