Thursday, August 13, 2020 / 11:00AM / Elizabeth
Okoro for Proshare Business / Header Image Credit: The Innovation Series
The recent signing of the CAMA Bill 2020 into law by President Muhammadu Buhari will attract more investments into the Nigerian economy, and improve the business environment for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). This was the assertion of Mr. Ayo Bankole, the Convener of the Lagos SME Bootcamp during an interview on the WebTV Economy and Politics Show with Ottoabasi Abasiekong on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
According to Mr. Bankole, this move by the government will strengthen the framework for enterprise development and enhance the growth of businesses in the country, because of its potential to transform the operations of SMEs especially in relation to breaking the barriers to entry for small business owners.
Giving a historical perspective, Mr Bankole explained that prior regulation required businesses to have two (2) directors and this was not realistic for micro enterprises; since over 97% of these businesses are owned by one man/woman. He also acknowledged that this discouraged micro businesses from registering their businesses which is a key requirement to move into the formal sector.
Speaking further on the significance of the CAMA bill 2020 to the business environment, the business strategist and expert stated that the new legislation, will enhance the adoption of technology and mechanisms which will enable people to register electronically; adding that it will ultimately simplify the processes for SMEs to do business and attract capital.
"No investor wants to invest in an environment that has cumbersome regulations. Attracting investment requires a regulatory friendly environment. The CAMA Bill 2020 cannot be taken in isolation as other micro economic elements and regulations such as the finance law, tax regulation, amongst others are critical." - Ayo Bankole said.
On what needs to be done, Ayo Bankole noted that the Government needs to facilitate a smooth implementation of the law.
In celebration of the 2020 International Youth Day, he urged the government to create a macro economic environment that encourages wealth generation and creation for youths, especially those in the MSME space so as to enable them contribute to the growth and development of the country.
Speaking on strategic ways of addressing the challenges of MSMEs, he called on the Nigerian Government to explore the approach of investing in value chain production which is critical. He cited Agriculture as an example of a critical sector, that requires this intervention.
On the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria interventions like the NIRSAL N50bn and the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), he explained that a lot of MSMEs still have issues accessing the funds, due to the stringent conditions. He alluded to the fact that unlocking the potentials of MSMEs was the only way to achieve sustainable growth in Africa.
Looking at the way forward, Mr. Ayo Bankole encouraged the government to continuously give priority to micro-businesses who are often neglected in intervention programmes/initiatives.