Every country in the world has a duty of ensuring that they provide employment opportunities for it’s citizens, but then, it is not every citizen that will place his or herself in the position of seeking for a ready made employment as some of them opt to run a business of their own.

But knowing that business requires one to invest capital based on it’s nature and wants, the government has yet another obligation to provide funds for it’s citizens to meet up their business demands.

And here in Nigeria the federal government have given the authority to several financial institutions to handle the act of issuing loans for individuals to start their small businesses.

In this article therefore, I am going to show you how to get federal government loans for small businesses in Nigeria.

Institutions authorized by the federal government of Nigeria to give loans to small businesses are:

  1. 1. The central bank of Nigeria (CBN)
    2. Bank of Industry (BOI)
    3. Bank of Agriculture (BOA)
    4. Small and Medium Enterprises 5.Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)
    6. Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN)
    7. Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM)

Types of loans offered by federal government to small businesses in Nigeria.

Loan requirements and interest rates normally depends on the bank that issues it and the specific loan type in question. However, at the Tim of writing this article, the current loans given by the federal government to small businesses in the country are:

AGSMEIS Loan for SMEs and Agricultural businesses

This loan was specially designed by the government for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. It was formed due to a partnership between the federal government, through CBN, and the Bankers’ committee.

The loan also promotes agricultural businesses too, and is disbursed through NIRSAL Microfinance bank primarily, and some other approved banks.

bcan get up to 10 million Naira up front, at an interest rate of 9% per annum.

Creative industry Financing Initiative (CIFI Loan)

This loan was made to create employment to several unemployed youths in the country, and it has already employed a large portion of them.

CIFI loan focuses not on making funds available to active business owners in the creative industry. It’s cost of financing is low and it helps in the rapid development of the industry and other sub-sectors, growing the economy at large.

Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) Intervention for Agriculture.

This program was initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and is majorly for the agricultural sector.

This loan focuses on small-scale farmers who engage in producing certain commodities as part of an approved group.

However, other businesses related to agriculture can also apply for the loan, which means that it is not only meant for farmers.

CBN Healthcare Research and Development Grants

This loan is for SMEs who are conducting research and development in the country. Thus, it provides fundings for candidates to access funds they can use for different purposes, which includes new and improved drugs, diagnostics of infectious diseases, and vaccines. It is also accessible to institutions, pharmaceutical companies, biotechnological companies, etc.

MSMEDF Loan – Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund

Thisis fund is part of CBN’s effort to place emphasis on promoting small businesses in the country.

It simply aims at identifying financing gaps and plugging it for accelerated development.

In addition, the loan covers a variety of businesses including trade and commerce, artisans, cottage industry, agricultural value chain, etc.

Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS Loan)

The government has long placed most of their focus on agriculture, which is why they receive lots of funding.

Thus, this loan also applies to the agricultural sector and aims at engaging a good number of youths in agricultural production. Furthermore, it works towarfs reducing the rate of unemployment and encourage economic diversification, and it is only available to youths between the ages of 18 to 35.

How to apply for federal government loans for small businesses in Nigeria.

The application process for each loan differs and are stated by the government. Follow the process below to apply for a loan of your choice:

Go to the official online portal of the body that handles the loan
Read their loan requirements and ensure your qualifications meet up with the loan you want.
Follow the application process as stated by the official release of the government about the loan.
Also, note that after applying for some loans online, you would have to proceed to their physical office for other protocols. It however varies from one fund to another.


If you are an small scale business owner in Nigeria, you can take advantage of these great opportunities to collect loan and expand your business. In reality, small businesses are the backbone of the countries economy, and for that reason, the government is focused on growing them. Lagos state government also has an initiative called the LSETF that small business owners can benefit from.

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Last modified: September 12, 2021



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