Friday, September 14, 2018 3.40PM / Proshare WebTV
Seasoned Nigerian economist Mr Bismark Rewane has made a strong case for investments in infrastructure, skills development and increasing traditional opportunities and access to markets for MSME growth in Nigeria.
Mr Rewane was the guest speaker at the business session one of the just concluded 11th CIBN annual banking and finance conference in Abuja.
The focus of the session was “MSME Financing Gap: The Critical Role of Micro-Funding” which was chaired by the Minister of State, Industries, Trade and Investment Mrs Aisha Abubakar.
He asserted that there is a correlation between investments and economic growth, which explains the success story of economies like Singapore, Japan and Germany where MSMEs are thriving due to the strong policy and investment strategies in those climes.
Looking at the SMEs, Rewane noted that there are largely in the Agric, Manufacturing and the Wholesale & Retail space in the economy.
Rewane said the way forward for MSMEs in Nigeria was an increase in policy incentives for labor intensive sectors.
The Executive Director, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access, EFInA Mrs Bunmi Lawson another panelist at the session called for the establishment of a Micro-finance Investment Development Fund, that will address the financing challenge of MSMEs in the country.
This she believed will provide patient and long-term capital for entrepreneurs in the country, which can be accessed by venture capital and private equity firms who want to provide capital.
She harped on the need for the Federal Government to reduce its borrowing to incentivize the financial services sector to improve lending to MSMEs.
On his part the MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo shared that his bank has been deliberate in supporting SME clusters and associations in the country.
He however noted that a unique national identification number for all Nigerian citizens, will improve the opportunities of financial institutions, supporting entrepreneurs and lauded the National Collateral registry initiative of the Central Bank.
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