The Chairman, National Association of Small Scale Industrialists, Mr. Seguntayo George, says Nigeria’s high unemployment rate can be reduced. For the reason that the government focuses on the growth of Micro and Small-scale Enterprises in the country.
According to him, one of the challenges facing the growth of the MSMEs is lack of access to loans. Even more, unattainable collateral request by commercial banks is a major issue.
He noted that such demand and scarcity of funds were capable of frustrating the efforts of entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
Lagos State Government
George, however, praised the efforts of the Lagos State Government in assisting micro and medium-scale industrialists. The state government assists them with affordable loans with less cumbersome collateral requirements.
The NASSI chairman, while speaking in Lagos at the body’s second trade fair with the theme: ‘MSMEs as catalysts for Nigeria’s export promotion agenda’, explained the reason why several locally-made goods were on display at the programme.
George said, “To overcome challenges like funding, we urge the government to come up with a developmental fund that is cheap and easy to access. The government had actually come up with this, but accessibility remains the hurdle, especially in the area of collateral. Many of the MSMEs cannot afford the demands for such.
“The Lagos State Government came up with Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. The fact that Lagos State can be doing this means it can be replicated at the national level as well. Lagos is doing it successfully, giving us loans without demanding for high collateral, with two guarantors at five per cent and payable in the next five years. There is nothing like this in Africa. I don’t see the reason why the Federal Government cannot replicate the same thing.”
Earlier, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, NASSI MSME Trade Fair 2018, Mrs. Gertrude Akhimien, said the association, which was founded in 1978 with branches across the country. Furthermore, she acknowledged the current administration’s drive to tap into the opportunities abounding in the non-oil sector and promote exports.
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