The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has stated that access to finance remains one of the biggest threats to MSME development in both developed and developing economies.
This was disclosed by Mr Osita Nwanisobi, Director, Corporate Communications, who represented the CBN Governor at a keynote address at the 30th-anniversary conference and awards of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) themed, “Financing Infrastructure & SMEs for inclusive growth in the post-COVID-19 economy.”
Despite being a major driver of growth, innovation, and job creation, he explained, the ability of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to spur growth and create jobs has been hampered by a lack of access to quality infrastructure, according to Vanguard.
What the CBN said
The CBN Governor in his statement delivered by Nwanisobi said, “Beyond infrastructure, access to finance remains one of the biggest threats to MSME development in both developed and developing economies alike, with serious implications for productivity, economic development, and job creation.”
Mr Emefiele asserted, “The financing gap for MSMEs in Nigeria is estimated to be about N617.3 billion annually pre-Covid-19 pandemic, as less than 5 percent of these businesses have access to adequate finance to support their working capital and business expansion needs (PwC). Other constraints to MSME development in Nigeria, as noted in the survey, included difficulty in finding customers, infrastructure deficit, insufficient cash flows, multiple taxations, regulatory burden, and sub-optimal implementation of the provisions of the MSME policy.”
He revealed that the apex bank has put in place several policy measures to stimulate economic growth and reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians. He reiterated that the CBN has remained committed to fulfilling its developmental mandate by collaborating with stakeholders across infrastructure and MSME segments in order to boost domestic output.
“There is an urgent need for fiscal authorities to collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria to change the lenses through which they look at MSMEs and infrastructure development, by developing innovative policy measures to unlock the potential of these enterprises to drive innovation and industrialisation. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, without adequate infrastructure, the Nigerian economy cannot overcome its structural challenges and achieve growth, as well as development,” the CBN Governor added.
In case you missed it
The CBN in an effort to boost Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) access to credit, developed guidelines for regulation and supervision of credit guarantee companies in Nigeria.
With the aim of supporting MSMEs across the country, the CBN disbursed N134.57 billion to Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), and for the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), the sum of N343.21 billion.
The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) has urged monetary authorities to widen the scope of their policy actions in order to better fund the country’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).