The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has challenged the banks and other financial institutions to evolve creative solutions to solving financing challenges being faced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
This is coming on the heels of the federal government’s promise to provide more infrastructure support and other incentives to drive MSMEs growth in Nigeria.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, made the call in Abuja on Tuesday at the 11th Annual Banking and Finance conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
The two-day conference ending today in Abuja has as its theme “MSMEs: The game changer for economic growth and development.”
Represented at the event by the Mr. Joseph Okwu Nnanna, the CBN Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Emefiele said for MSMEs to play its role of job creation, there is need to channel more funds to the sector.
He said the CBN has led policy and financing support to MSMEs adding that the banks should also commit more to MSMEs development.
Some of the CBN intervention programmes, according to him, are the MSME development fund; Small and medium enterprise creative guarantee scheme; National collateral registry; and the Entrepreneurship Development Center.
He said one of the programmes to make funds available to the sector is the national collateral registry which is a financial infrastructure introduced to support the crippling market by enabling micro enterprises to use their moveable assets as collateral for bank loans.
The governor said since the commencement of active cooperation in May 2016, 552 financial institutions have registered 32,645 financing statements valued at over N688.35bn, $33.4m and €6,000 on the platform.
In his remark, the President/Chairman of Council, the Chartered Institute Of Bankers Of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr. Uche Messiah Olowu, noted that the underdevelopment of Africa and the current difficulties confronting the continent’s economies, particularly Nigeria were the direct result of limited diversification of economic activity across the continent.
He said the bankers would collaborate with concerned agencies of government and other bodies to strengthen the capacity of the operators of MSMEs, to improve their competencies and the professionals in the banks to deliver satisfactory services to them.
“We recognise the importance of MSMEs as drivers of economic growth and poverty reduction. Indeed, the SMEs have been copiously described as the lifeblood of any economy which goes a long way in reaffirming the fact that a strong and thriving MSME sector is required to effectively develop a modern and dynamic economy and must therefore be strategically and consciously nurtured and managed,” he said.