Women entrepreneurs decry difficult access, stringent conditions attached to MSMEs loans
by RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta
October 26, 2015 | 12:00 am| | | Start Conversation
want MSMEs credits streamlined for easy access
Women entrepreneurs under the aegis of NACCIMA Business Women Group (NAWORG) have decried hindered access and stringent conditions attached to loans granted to micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) operating in Nigerian economy, saying the two-digit interest rates attached to MSMEs loans are unfavourable to economic development.
The women entrepreneurs spoke against the backdrop of some credit facilities the Federal Government designed for the growth of MSMEs through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry (BoI), Bank of Agriculture (BoA) and other relevant financial agencies in the country.
Speaking at a press conference heralding Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs Exhibition (NIWEX) 2015 that will be held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, between December 7 to 16, Alaba Lawson, chairperson of NAWORG, said credit facilities designed for MSMEs were either difficult to access or had throat-cutting interest rates attached.
Lawson, who spoke in company of other women entrepreneurs in Abeokuta at the weekend, said: “We applied even at the level of NACCIMA our umbrella body, one thing about the government is the implementation. They would say it is very easy to access loans, but I tell you, to access this kind of fund is very difficult.
“The Bank of Industry is supposed to be giving us loans or credit facilities at single digits, but they don’t. We face problems whenever we go to them, not only women, but other groups of people. Yet, you would agree that MSMEs are the bedrock of any economy, especially Gross Domestic Product of any country.
“If MSMEs are the bedrock of all these gigantic manufacturing companies, the government needs to make some policies to ensure that the implementation of these policies are well streamlined for every woman on the street to be able to get it. Policies and implementation by government is what they must monitor to know how much of this fund has been utilised for women in business or entrepreneurship.”
Another women entrepreneur, Olatundun Taiwo, who recounted her experience as regards MSMEs loans, said: “These funds are all paper works. I have a personal experience and I can say it anywhere any day. When I went to the Bank of Industry, they demanded for 35 documents. How do you expect the SMEs to have 35 documents?
“I provided the 35 documents and it took me one and half years, and when I got them, they said Madam, you are able to get these. I was then referred to the leasing at 24 percent from 10 percent. Because I needed it, I had to get the money. It is still difficult to get this money.
“I had another experience with Heritage Bank. I needed N10 million, and I was told to bring N4 million equity contribution. If I have N4 million, I don’t need to go to them, all these things are all paper work and the Press need to know that.
“They (Press) need to help us tell them (lenders) to bring down the conditions, they are too harsh for the Nigerian women, it is only a few of us that have this dogmatic approach that move forward, but those who can’t will just abandon it. The Federal Government should know that the policies are not favourable to Nigeria women,” she said.
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