SMEDAN, Stakeholders Call for Establishment of Investment Banks
Worried about the future of the small-scale business sector in the country, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Bank of Industry have advocated a boost in the productive capacity of the sector through investment banking.
They stated this in Lagos at the 2019 Business A.M SME Conference with the theme, ‘The Future of SME Banking in Nigeria’.
Speaking at the event, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Radda, said the Small and Medium Enterprises were the backbone of economies across the world, accounting for over 90 per cent of businesses and generating 60 to70 per cent employment worldwide.
According to him, the MSMEs play a pivotal role in stimulating economic growth, supporting inclusive growth and providing decent jobs which are key indicators for poverty reduction in the country.
Speaking further, the SMEDAN boss pointed out that the MSMEs contributed about 49.7 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and 7.64 per cent to exports.
He said there were 41.5 million MSMEs in Nigeria contributing to the growth of the economy.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, Dr Effiong Essien, said the ERGP was developed against the backdrop of economic recession.
He pointed out that it was imperative for the government to fast-track development and diversify the economy from oil.
The Chief Executive Officer and founder, Global Analytics Ltd, Tope Fasua, said access to finance and credit facilities would incentivise the SMEs to be more sustainable.
According to him, there is a negative growth of 2.28 per cent GDP growth with a population growth rising, which is not too good for the operating environment in the country.
He emphasised the need for the SMEs to leverage technology, artificial intelligence and market skills for the ageing demographics.
He stressed that entrepreneurial drive would further lead to SMEs explosion in the country.
He said, ‘’Credit culture will be more improved as shock will lead to more discipline. The SME landscape will be more defined and there will be boom in the SME financing.”
Fasua admitted that the SMEs needed to gear up for more digital future for banking.
According to him, although the future of the SME banking in Nigeria is currently shut out, Nigeria will eventually get reabsorbed into the global finance sector.