Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Emefiele charge banks on MSME funding

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has challenged banks and other financial institutions in the country to fund operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, so as to achieve financial inclusiveness.

The Governor made the call at the 11th Annual Banking and Finance conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria in Abuja, with the theme “MSMEs: The Game Changer for Economic Growth and Development.”

Emefiele urge financial institutions to evolve creative solutions to solve the financing challenges faced by MSMEs in the country.

Represented at the event by CBN Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Mr. Joseph Okwu Nnanna, he said for MSMEs to play their role of job creation, there is need to channel more funds to the sector.

Emefiele further advised participants to consider the constructive ways to support MSMEs in the country to enable them to perform the essential roles of enhancing economic growth and inclusive development.

“Our task at this conference is to debate and deliberate constructively on the ways to further support MSMEs in Nigeria to be able to perform their essential role of enhancing economic growth and inclusive development.

“The CBN has done so much in the area of de-risking the MSME sub-sector by providing funds for lending to the sector. It is now up to us the financial intermediaries in the economy to support and complement this effort and turn around the fortunes of MSMEs and the economy at large,” he said.

He said the CBN has led policy and financing support to MSMEs, adding that the banks should also commit more to MSMEs development.

Some MSME interventions by the apex bank include MSME Development Fund, Small and Medium Enterprise Creative Guarantee Scheme, National Collateral Registry, and Entrepreneurship Development Centre.

Emefiele described the National Collateral Registry as a financial infrastructure introduced to support the crippling market by enabling micro-enterprises to use their movable assets as collateral for bank loans.

“Since the commencement of active cooperation in May 2016, 552 financial institutions have registered 32,645 financing statements valid at over N688.35billion, $33.4million and €6,000 on the platform. I am very optimistic that the collateral registry will have tremendous impacts on MSME lending in Nigeria and in the foreseeable future.

“This is especially considering the recent launching of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which intends to leverage on the power of the private sector in its economic recovery and transformative growth by prioritizing all MSMEs in all critical sectors as a significant source of long-term growth,” he explained.

In his remarks, the President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Uche Olowu, asked bankers to collaborate with the concerned agencies of government and other bodies to strengthen the capacity of the operators of MSMEs, to improve their competencies and the professionals in the banks to deliver satisfactory services to them.

 

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