Access to right credit at the right price is important for economic development and prosperity in Nigeria, stakeholders in Nigeria’s financial sector have disclosed.
Chairman, Board of Directors, CRC Credit Bureau Limited, Gregory Ovie Jobome, explained that despite the fact that the country’s credit penetration had moved from 4% to 14%, given all the efforts of the government to support business and create an environment where creditors process transactions with confidence, a lot still needs to be done.
He said, “As we intensify our efforts and as the government supports our industry through appropriate legislation and policies, we look forward to the future through optimism.”
Jobome proffered that the National Identification Number (NIN) could be a key instrument to maintaining increased credit penetration in Nigeria, making access to funding for Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) easy. He added that the NIN could also serve as a tool for boosting the credit scores of MSMEs, Guardian reported.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, through its Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Aishah Ahmed, disclosed that MSMEs and individuals had continued to experience difficulties in accessing credit, however, the CBN would continue to support initiatives that encourage lending to the real sector of the economy.
“There is a huge expectation of synergy between the CBN and the relevant institutions within the financial system to change the narrative and improve access to credits,” Ahmed said.
Meanwhile, Country Manager, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Eme Essien Lore, said a strong, vibrant, dynamic, and sustainable private sector was key to achieving growth in access to credit.
“Access to finance and credit has been an enormous constraint to the private sector, as it has become one of the issues affecting MSMEs. We know the role of access to finance and credits can play in helping MSMEs.
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“We need to do a lot of work, and we need to do them as a matter of urgency. Nigeria is almost behind all its peers in every single dimension, and needs to promote scalable private sector investments like in other developing countries,” said Lore.
Lore added that Nigeria has about 41 million MSMEs accounting for 75% of the jobs in the economy. She added that 50% of the problems surrounding businesses in the country would be solved if access to credit is made easier for MSMEs.