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Business News of Tuesday, 27 September 2022


SMEDAN laments $158 billion MSMEs funding gap


Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has bemoaned the existing $158.1 billion financing gap in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), stating that access to capital is still one of the most significant barriers to sector growth in Nigeria.

At the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Enterprise and Fidelity Bank Plc held in Lagos, at the weekend, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya, noted that the desire for inclusive economic growth would remain elusive if the ease of access to finance by this key sector is not given priority.

Fasanya said the sector has suffered increased lending apathy from financial institutions despite its outsourced market with increased untapped potential for the engagement of productive SMEs.

He said: “MSMEs in Nigeria are suffering and some of the factors impacting their growth are beyond us. Many banks do not want to give them attention. Fidelity Bank has been at the forefront of MSMEs growth.”

Fasanya urged operators in the industry to leverage the market opportunity on a strong Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills base, adding that the availability of relevant ICT infrastructure and an effective regulatory environment will promote fair participation for both large firms and SMEs.

He said: “In Nigeria, about 99 per cent of the business are at the micro level so it means that scaling is very important. We cannot continue to remain at that level. We need to give them the maximum support needed to scale up.”

Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Nneka Onyeali- Ikpe, said support for MSMEs’ financing is more critical now than ever given the need to boost Nigeria’s long-term growth trajectory.

According to her, the bank’s loan products for MSMEs have been tailored to help further ease the poor access-to-finance burden confronting MSMEs in Nigeria.

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