An Analysis, Nigerian News Agency
The problems of the sector are the aggravated infrastructure deficit, which has limited economic development and the achievement of the average growth rate of at least five to seven percent required to boost the productivity and sustainable growth of companies.
Similarly, the infrastructure deficit in Nigeria is estimated to be around 1.2% of GDP; the federal government is projected to need to commit about $100 billion annually to address the nation’s infrastructure deficit.
He emphasized that the sector of the economy, which had also emerged as an important source of growth, innovation and job creation, was that of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Emefiele confirmed that the sector represents approximately 90 percent of companies and employs more than 50 percent of the global workforce.
However, he lamented that Emefiele’s weak and inadequate infrastructure, as well as the scarce flow of credit to companies, particularly MSMEs, seriously impacted economic growth, as well as human development.
“With over 42 million MSMEs in Nigeria, contributing 49.78% of the country’s GDP, 7.64% of exports and 76.5% of the workforce, the sector faces many challenges that continue to limit the potential of companies to contribute to economic growth and development”, said Emefiele.
He explained that lack of access to quality infrastructure had been a limiting factor for MSMEs in developing countries, making it difficult for them to realize their growth potential and create jobs.
“Beyond infrastructure, access to fice remains one of the biggest threats to MSME development in both developed and developing economies, with serious implications for productivity, economic development, and job creation,” Emefiele said.
It noted that realizing the importance of access to service and infrastructure for economic growth and development, the CBN had taken steps beyond its traditional macroeconomic mandates of ensuring price and official system stability, as well as maintaining a strong foreign reserve.
To this end, he said, the CBN introduced various development office policies and programs to improve access to credit for MSMEs, deepen the bank’s support to the real sector, support job creation, and build payment system infrastructure. solid foundation to help drive official inclusion.
FirstBank CEO Dr. Adesola Adeduntan said the accounts were offered to SMEs, regardless of their industry, and tailored to expose businesses to a wide range of services and opportunities essential to their continued growth.
It said account holders had access to temporary overdrafts and other bank facilities subject to meeting risk management benchmarks for each product.
Banks logo in Nigeria
Through the accounts, SMEs are automatically enrolled in all of the bank’s digital platforms and are granted access to the bank’s SME events, extensive promotional and networking opportunities on its SMEConnect portal, and a wide range of discounts and offers. promotional.
Adeduntan added that FirstBank’s SMEConnect was a digital platform through which SMEs could access the bank’s services and that the portal was also designed to help SMEs identify various gaps that were hindering their growth.
The general manager explained that the bank’s extensive research identified seven strategic pillars considered essential for the sustainability and growth of SMEs.
According to him, the pillars are: connect with infrastructure, connect with talent, develop skills, connect with politics and regulation, connect with resources, connect with the market and connect with fice.
“FirstBank is delighted to unlock various opportunities for SMEs to thrive.
“We remain at the forefront in providing the desired official products and services to meet the unique needs of SMEs,” he said.
One FirstBank SME client, Mr. James Osoka, who makes shoes, said he enjoyed a zero account maintenance charge; access to webinars/training, various credit facilities, workplace resources, access to the SMEConnect portal and directory since the concept began in 2020.
Osoka said that FirstBank, through the initiative, helped him grow his business of operating corporate accounts, accessing loans and providing advisory services when needed.
Salami said that through FirstBank SMEclinic, he learned to keep and manage the accounting correctly, there, and prevented his business from collapsing.
The bank said it realized some operators were struggling to obtain official support, posing a major challenge to their ability to sustain their businesses.
According to her, the bank deliberately designed low-interest lines of credit with flexible collateral requirements for SMEs with at least four different loan products.
The products are: Rapid Cluster-Based Loans, Business Support Overdraft, Loans for Specialized MSME Segments and Fice Loan Products for Development, made available to MSMEs, in their attempt to ease the burden of accessing the fiduciary they face.
With the major bank prioritizing the needs of SMEs and the banks offering a plethora of products, perhaps SMEs are finally on the path to sustainability and will eventually contribute to the economic growth of the nation.
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