The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Wednesday urged commercial banks and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to join hands to grow the economy.
Mr Mansur Ahmed, President of MAN, gave the advice at the first National Stakeholders Conference organised by the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference supported by Access Bank, Ecobank, FirstBank and Zenith Bank had: “Promoting Synergy Between the Banking Industry and the Organised Private Sector,’’ as the theme.
Ahmed said that the performance and development of both sectors were expedient for the sustainability of the economy; hence, the need for both sectors to work together to reduce poverty, attract investment and boost economic growth.
“The traditional industry-bank lending relationship is no longer supporting the growth of the industry, the bank and the economy, as a whole.
“ Industry activities have massively declined showing rising number of moribund industries across the country and the increasing capital flight.
“ Based on this information, it is important that the commercial banks and the industry should come together to chart new ways of supporting each other to the benefit of all.
“ There is no doubt that the industry needs the bank to increase investment and production while the bank needs the industry for interest payment incomes and equity subscription,’’ he said.
He, therefore, recommended that the commercial bank should develop corporate patriotism to strengthen the willingness to lend at the interest rate that supports both the industry and the banking sector for the sake of the economy.
He stressed the need to prioritise attention to industry foreign exchange requests, particularly in this period of acute shortage.
Ahmed represented by Mr Ambrose Oruche, Director, Corporate Services of MAN, also urged the banks to ensure that government or international development funds were well accessed without undue difficult conditionality.
He recommended the creation of a process that would support equipment acquisition in the industry and creation of funds to support industry-bank joint venture for easy financing of specific industry business.
He also suggested the creation of a unit for business support and capacity development for the industry as well as a trade support unit.
Mr Ide Udeagbala, President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), represented by Mr Ayo Osinloye, urged stakeholders to provide answers to the difficult challenges being faced by the private sector.
“They face weak infrastructure, especially in terms of power, transportation, and workspace.
They lack a collective voice and have relatively weak influence of policy formulation.
They have poor access to vital resources, especially finance,” Udeagbala said.
Also speaking, Mr Eboagwu Ezulu, Deputy Director, Financial System Stability Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), advised the OPS to approach the development financing institutions for financial assistance.
“I am aware that the Development Bank of Nigeria was established in collaboration with the CBN to provide funding as well as the Bank of Industry established to support the manufacturing sector.
“Have we the manufacturing sector approached those entities to utilise the funds available rather than asking the commercial banks?
“Banks are supposed to approach the CBN on behalf of their customers to solve these problems; the commercial banks lend for credit purpose, they have the primary responsibility to protect their depositors,’’ Ezulu said Dr Ken Opara, the CIBN President, noted that the organised private sectors were the real drivers of real sector growth and economic advancement through industrialisation, job creation, provision of goods and services and poverty alleviation.
“Thus a well-functioning financial system and a rigorous private sector are important drivers of national growth in terms of Gross Domestic Product, employment generation, economic stability and poverty reduction.
“However, I must admit that there are still a lot of untapped opportunity between these two critical sectors some of which are attributable to lack of proper handshake between the bodies.
“Given the interdependence of both sector, it has become imperative for both to work mutually for the growth of the nation’s economy,’’ Opara said.
Earlier, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, President ACAMB, said that the outlook of the conference was essentially to develop a workable roadmap for the two sectors to synergise for the benefit of the national economy.
“Finance, the essence of banking is the driving force for the private sector.
Capital, is probably the primary factor of production.
“On the other side, the private sector, as the end users of banking services and the largest sector of the economy, is also conversely the driver of a sustainable and viral banking sector.
“So, I will say there is a symbiotic relationship between the two sectors, banking is important to the private sector, just as the private sector is important to the banks.
That explains why this conference is taking place.
“So, it is safe to conclude that the more active and synergistic the relationship between banking and private sector, the more we are collectively able to develop and grow the national economy for sustainable Nigeria,’’ he said.
The Federal Government said that 211,962 beneficiaries across the South-West region benefitted from the Micro, Small and medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund scheme.
Mr Kamar Bakrin, Member, MSME Survival Fund, Steering Committee, made the disclosure at the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme town hall meeting on Tuesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the scheme is a programme of the Federal Government under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), to support businesses most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bakrin said in the south west region, 88,808 beneficiaries emerged under the payroll support scheme, 14,449 beneficiaries under the MSME grant scheme, 63,511 beneficiaries under the artisan and transport scheme.
He added that the 42,113 beneficiaries emerged under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) formalisation support scheme while the guaranteed offtake scheme had 3,081 beneficiaries.
Bakrin revealed that in Lagos, the scheme recorded a total of 47,758 beneficiaries under the five tracks of implementation.
He said that under the guaranteed offtake scheme in the state, 597 MSMEs successfully supplied their products after receiving mobilisation.
Bakrin noted that 1,210 MSMEs in spite of receiving the 30 per cent mobilization fee failed to deliver their items, thereby disqualifying them from receiving the balance of payment and breaching their contract with the Federal government.
“Today, those 597 MSMEs who successfully delivered their products will be awarded certificates of commendation from the Federal Government for their participations in the Scheme,” he said.
He stated that the anticipated impact of the programme nationwide was to directly engage 100,000 MSMEs in the production sector and save at least 1.3 million jobs.
Bakrin said that at national level, the scheme encountered 19,928 deviant cases, where MSMEs that were paid the initial mobilisation of 30 per cent failed to supply the items; thereby breaching their contract with the Federal Government.
He added that the committee had directed the appropriate agencies to commence the process of recovering such monies and possibly prosecute the defaulters.
Bakrin lauded the effort, integrity, and commitment of MSMEs across the country that participated in the successful implementation of GOS which required the supply of offtake items to the Federal Government.
He said that in spite of the rising production cost, these businesses completed their contracts under the scheme.
Project Coordinator, Guaranteed Offtake Scheme, Mr Tola Adekunle, said after the initial setback occasioned by initial public mistrust and apathy for the scheme, resulting in several applicants failure to complete their registration under the payroll support track.
Adekunle, represented by Mr Uche Nwachukwu, State Manager, Bank of Industry, Lagos, said the scheme received a significant uptake in inquiries for application details.
He commended the present administration for the support given to MSMEs through the scheme, noting that across the 36 States and the FCT, a total of 398,024 beneficiaries received a one-off N30,000. A beneficiary, Mr Fidelis Adediran, also State Secretary, National Commercial Motorcycle, Tricycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (NACTOMORAN), commended the Federal Government for the grant.
Adediran, the State Secretary, National Commercial Motorcycle, Tricycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (NACTOMORAN), said that the fund came at the right time as his business was almost at ground halt.
“We got N30,000 each in our association and we are hoping to get another tranche of the fund and this is the second time we are getting the fund,” he said.
He called on the Federal Government to sustain the programme in its bid to provide welfare for its citizenry, stressing that initiatives such as these would help to address issues of kidnapping, banditry and other social vices.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Juliet Ugwuoke, said the fund helped her pull through the COVID-19 era.
Ugwuoke urged the Federal Government to sustain the programme in its quest to keep businesses afloat in the country.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says addressing the issue of access to mortgage financing is the panacea to housing delivery challenge in the country.
Fashola said this at the opening of the Retreat of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) on Monday, in Abuja.
The retreat is with the theme: ”Strategy Repositing for Optimised Performance, Organisational Culture Change and Informal Sector Integration’’.
According to him, one of the obstacles of access to housing is the one that impedes access to finance, and this must be removed.
“If we fail to remove this impediment, then we will be failing in the reason for setting up the bank.
“There must be something done to help people pays their rents via their salaries, especially the problem of two-three years rent payment demand by landlords in advance from tenants whose salaries come in arrears,’’ Fashola said.
He, therefore, advised the bank to collaborate with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation contributors’ fund like other commercial banks do.
Fashola added that this would go a long way to finance the mortgage of contributors since there was nowhere in the world that government does 100 per cent housing financing.
While commending the bank’s board and management for the services rendered such as home refurbishment loans and introduction of the rent to own initiative, he charged them to focus the retreat on better ways to serve the people.
Fashola said that performance and repositioning were key to setting up the bank to provide housing services to the people.
On his part, Mr Ayodeji Gbeleyi, Chairman, Board of Directors, FMBN called for the review of both the FMBN and National Housing Fund (NHF) Acts to incorporate increment in the bank’s share capital.
“Give more flexibility in determining share capital structure in line with emerging realities.
There is the case to amend the NHF Act to increase the accretion of contributors to the funds through percentage increase in contributions.
“Source diversification, adoption of initiatives to attract banks and insurance companies and other prospective contributors to participate actively in the NHF scheme.
“The Land Use Act has no specifics provisions for the foreclosure of mortgages and this poses a challenge for investors, as mortgages can take undue advantage of the gap to delay the foreclosure process.
Gbeleyi said to close the gap, states should be encouraged to put in place foreclosure laws through their States Houses of Assembly, adding that only Lagos and Kaduna states had enacted their foreclosure laws.
In his address, Mr Madu Hamman, Managing Director, FMBN said the need to re-focus the direction of the bank was driven by the need to re-align its strategic targets in the light of prevailing economic, financial and social realities.
Also to re-configure the strategy document to incorporate the vision and focus of the bank’s new leadership in implementing Mr President’s mandate for affordable housing delivery to Nigerians especially those in the low and middle income brackets.
“Our collective vision for FMBN in the future is a financially viable and highly adaptive bank capable of adequately coping with the vagrancies of a world transiting, from a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment.
“To a brittle, anxious, non-linear and incomprehensible environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergence and unfolding factors.
“To this end, the bank’s strategy document must become the tool for managing a constantly shifting environment as well as one for identifying and utilising opportunities that such challenges may present,” he said.
Hamman said FMBN had therefore adapted “to be the preferred mortgage institution providing reliable and affordable access to homeownership for Nigerian’’ as its corporate vision.
He said that this vision was guided by the mission statement“ to drive the delivery of accessible and affordable homeownership by providing sustainable liquidity, innovative products and services and excellent customer service’’.
Also speaking, Mr Ebilate Mac-Yoroki, President, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), said it was imperative for FMBN as one of the virile secondary mortgage market institutions to reposition itself to harness its full potential.
Mac-Yoroki said that the bank should taking cognizance of the current economic realities in the country into consideration while trying to reposition.
”A Board retreat such as this will be ideal to challenge the status quo, tackle difficult issues and forge a camaraderie for the overall benefit of the entire sub-sector.
“The five-year strategy blueprint being articulated by the management demonstrates its commitment toward housing financing in Nigeria.
“In view of the critical importance of the housing financing banking sub-sector to national economic development through its linkages with the money and capital markets and its multiplier effects through spending on housing related materials,” he said.
In a paper presented by the Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, on `Institutional Turnaround for the Next Level’ advocated continuity in the management of the banks.
According to him, lack of continuity in the persons that manage the affairs of the banks is a major setback for the growth and development of the bank.
Pitan called on the bank to have a strategy informed ambition with clearly articulated and properly defined steps in order to achieve set goals.
He also advised the bank to go for long term borrowing especially from pension funds and be ready to implement any decision collectively agreed upon.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the highlights include, health talk on `Mental Health Epidemic: The Big Effect of COVID-19 by Dr Olusola Ephraim-Oluwanuga, Consultant Psychiatrist.
She advised people to get professional help when they could not manage stress.
NAN also reports that the high point of the event was the official launch of FMBN Corporate Statements by the minister.