Liberalised rate to MSMEs could pull Nigeria out of recession- NACCIMA
by Harrison Edeh
October 3, 2016 | 12:34 am| | | Start Conversation
Amid the present economic recession confronting the country, Bassey Edem, national president of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) wants the Federal Government to liberalise the lending rate to enable MSME operators expand their operations and pull Nigeria out of recession.
Edem, while fielding questions from journalists at the ongoing Abuja Trade Fair organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told newsmen that government should ensure harmonisation of the fiscal and monetary policy structures and liberalisation of the lending rate to support MSME financing in the country.
“MSMEs are the engine of businesses across the country. If these 37 million MSMEs could employ two people, this will give you 74 million employed people,” Edem said.
“The interventions funds from the CBN are given out to banks at seven percent, but how many of them are prepared to lend at a rate as low as nine percent to jumpstart the MSMEs? This is where we want government to come in and address through the liberalisation of the lending rates,” he said.
“The point NACCIMA is making the CBN should allow us intermediate between these organisations and the funding bodies, because MSME is the key driver of any economy, and has the capacity to pull Nigeria out of recession,” he further said.
“We have approached the Central Bank and the SMEDAN saying that we take care of these small and medium businesses; we know them, so the funds could be passed through us to them,” he said.
“We could also serve in their boards. We could train them so that they grow their businesses. We could also help facilitate the recovery, since we have our registered members across the federation,” he added.
Speaking on the theme of the trade fair, ‘Make it in Nigeria’, Aisha Abubakar, minister of state for industry, trade and investment said, “MSMEs can lead to greater utilisation of local raw materials, employment generation, encouragement of rural development and building capacity of entrepreneurs.”
Abubakar said by the mobilisation of local savings, linkages with bigger industries, Nigeria can attain regional balance.
She said the government, in a bid to develop and promote the activities of MSMEs, has expanded the number of the participating agencies in the Nigeria Enterprise Development Programme(NEDEP) to include Nigerian Export Promotion Council,(NEPC),Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission,(NIPC),the Standard Organisation of Nigerian(SON) and the Corporate Affairs Commission,(CAC).
She noted also that the Presidential Council on Ease of Doing Business approved by the president intends to review and remove all encumbrances to trade facilitation, enforce simplification as well as streamline the export and import documentation and procedures while leveraging technology to remove administrative bottlenecks.
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