Provide more SMEs loans for entrepreneurs, Ajadi tells banks

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By Valentine Amanze

The Managing Director of Bullion Go-Neat Global Limited, Mr. Olufemi Ajadi, has appealed to Nigerian banks to create more Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) loan facilities in support of Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Ajadi said that the move would not only help the capacity of Nigerian run companies but also help boost the economy.

Ajadi, who spoke at a forum of the Commerce & Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) in Lagos, said that funding support remained critical for survival of SMEs.

He however lamented that the government and its agencies had not seemed to appreciate that.

Ajadi said that the current situation whereby emergent small firms were allowed to suffer due to the lack of finance was not auguring well for the economy.

He said not only was it worsening unemployment situation but contributing to the spiraling prices of goods and services.

He said because companies are forced to source capital from mainstream banks, at usually high interest rates, they could sell at low prices.

He referred to the tag of small and Medium Enterprises SMEs as the engine of growth, saying they could only perform such roles when they are supported by government at the teething stage.

Ajadi also accused the government of worsening things for firms by slamming them with huge taxes.

” I believe that the government can actually help SMEs in Nigeria, after all, these SMEs are helping the economy.

“SMEs help to create jobs, provide goods and services and should be supported by the government.”

He cited examples with other countries, saying that many of them were ahead of Nigeria  because they had taken time to support their SMEs.

He said that registration procedures could be simplified for Nigerian firms just coming up rather than the current situation whereby they are slammed with multiple taxes.

While acknowledging that some banks were trying by providing loans for firms, he said that the conditionalities could be made easier.

“If you say that some banks provide loans, how many companies have accessed such loans and what are the terms?

“I still believe that if government could show interest in supporting Nigerian firms, they will give Nigerian banks strong mandates on it.

“Any bank which does not follow such a directive could be sanctioned.

“If Nigerian SMEs are supported effectively through the provision of small loans they expand their capacity, create more jobs and help in fighting hunger and insecurity”, he stated.

 

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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