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NASSI calls for specialised bank to boost loan acquisition by SMEs

by Business News Report

The Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) on Wednesday called for the establishment of a special bank to ease loan acquisition by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Mr Segun Kuti-George, the NASSI Chairman, made the call in Lagos.

He said that commercial banks, development banks and microfinance banks were not meeting the needs of the SMEs in terms of loans. “SME entrepreneurs have been facing difficulty in loan acquisition to boost their businesses for a long time. Many SMEs got loans from the National Economic Reconstruction Fund and other government intervention funds.

“Majorly, medium enterprises and other larger businesses have been granted loans by the development banks like Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture. Micro and small enterprises are unable to get collateral demanded by these banks in order to benefit from their loan facilities. Commercial banks are sceptical about granting loans to SMEs because of uncertainties about their ability to repay such loans.

“The microfinance banks are unfortunately lending at double digit interest rates,” the NASSI chairman said. Kuti-George said that the N200 billion MSMEs fund launched by the Federal Government in 2013 had not been disbursed to the industries. We aware that the fund will be channeled through micro finance banks, but we are yet to benefit from it.Government’s intervention funds often don’t get to the targeted people because of mismanagement,” he said.

Kuti-George advised that such funds and necessary information concerning them should be channeled through various SME associations for onward transmission to their members. There are various business associations in the country with SME operators as members. Government’s intervention funds should be channeled through them for proper disbursements. Information brochures about the funds should be forwarded to the headquarters of these associations. We can guarantee that the funds are disbursed to the appropriate people that will utilise them adequately,” he said. 

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