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Edo Seeks Banking Reform Over SMEs

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Hon. Philip Shuaibu, Deputy Governor, Edo State

There is an urgent need for a systemic overhaul of the banking sector so that it could do more for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Edo State Deputy Governor, Hon Philip Shuaibu, said at the weekend.

Speaking in Lagos after receiving Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award presented to him by the Rotary Club of Mushin Metropolitan, he said there’s need to fight the scourge of poverty by providing potable water, health, education and other services to the electorate.

Shuaibu, who was special guest at the occasion, commended the immediate past President of the club, Rotarian Gregory Otsu for an accomplished tenure, saying the club has done great service to humanity.

He stressed the need for improved palliatives to cushion the sufferings of the SMEs, especially in the area of access to funds from the lenders. He described local lenders as Depository Houses with little emphasis on financing SMEs, a situation he lamented, has led to the demise of small businesses with brilliant ideas.

“Banks are collecting indirect collateral, because when you need a guarantor with like some amount you want to give out as loan to the SMEs, then, you are indirectly collecting collateral. That is not helping the economy. Remember, the SMEs today will become multinationals tomorrow.

“Therefore, banks in Nigeria need overhaul in such a manner they will accommodate engineers, psychologists, sociologists and others with a touch in humanity, as against the present penchant to recruit ‘fine boys and girls with little understanding about business financing,” he said.

He said without proper care for the SMEs, poverty would continue to multiply as has been seen in the economy. He said: “I am happy that what started about a year ago is coming to an end on a positive note. I am happy that Rotarian Otsu is handing over gracefully. It is my prayer that the incoming president will consolidate on your achievements and even perform better, because Rotary is about impacting lives or serving humanity.

“I also feel honoured by the award given to me by the Rotary Club of Mushin Metropolitan. That is why I strongly believe we should cease from passing bucks rather work harmoniously to tackle issues around poverty- water, health, education and other related indices.”

He said this measure has inspired programmes of Edo State. “Our goal is to reduce poverty. The government of Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki is on achieving economic prosperity for Edo State, which is a consolidation of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’ achievements. We are working with private and corporate entities to make this happen.’’ Earlier, the MD/CEO of LAPO Microfinance Bank, Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said technology will play a vital role in promoting financial inclusion.

Source: The Nation

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