In order to accomplish industrialization through Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the Lagos State Government has sought the partnership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Lagos State Head of Service, during the 31st anniversary reunion meeting of the Pioneer 1988 Class of the Lagos State University (LASU), the government, through the deployment of technology, expertise, and financial resources is creating an enabling environment for SMEs to grow.

Mr Muri-Okunola, through the Permanent Secretary, Office of Establishments and Training, Mr. Abiodun Bamgboye, said Lagos State government had been supporting SMEs through the Lagos State Employment Fund and that the country needed businesses that would contribute profoundly to the growth of the economy to address the needs of the people.

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Meanwhile, the Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Dr Mudashiru Olaitan, through the Deputy Director, Development Finance Office, CBN, Adedeji Adebisi, disclosed that lack of capital was hampering the development of start-ups and emphasized the need to increase credit culture to boost SMEs growth.

According to the CBN Director, the SME sector in Nigeria needs over $2 trillion to finance it. And in a bid to solve the problem of access to finance by SMEs, the CBN has established the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), Agric Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS), Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and financial inclusion programmes.

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“The total credit required to fully finance these SMEs is over $2 trillion equivalent to 14% of total developing economies’ gross domestic product (GDP).”

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Dr Olaitan stated that there are over 41.5 million Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria and 99.8% are micro-enterprises, which employ 96.3% of Nigeria’s workforce as well as contribute 49.78% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Meanwhile, Dr Olaitan emphasized that MSMEs are integral for economic growth and industrial development, adding that the CBN is committed to reducing poverty by increasing access to credit facilities so as to enable MSMEs participate in economic development of the country.

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