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NBCC seeks leeway to SMEs’ cash flow challenges


Akinola Olawore

The President of the Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce, Akinola Olawore has identified low cash flow in Nigeria as a major challenge to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

He advised the government to do more of infrastructure spending to redress the situation while adding that the activities of entrepreneurs will help Nigeria to attain sustainable growth.

Speaking at the just concluded SMEs exhibition programme, Olawore said consumption of locally made products and export activities are required for national growth and not crude oil prices.

Still confirming finance to always be a problem, he stated that why finance is still a problem is the quest for entrepreneurs to expand businesses.

He further identified two other major problems to include entrepreneurs’ lack of management skills and lack of information infrastructure for SMEs.

He however said the chamber is trying to address these two problems by bringing those who will advise them and those who will help them to do the backend things they need to do for their businesses at costs that are fraction of what they need to pay if they have go out by themselves.

Olawore advised SMEs to see themselves as part of the government and do whatever little that they can do to make things happen.He stressed that the exhibition was to showcase some of the things they do locally as there are quite a number of entrepreneurs who are already looking inward but people do not know what they are doing and are not aware of how important those things are.

“So with this kind of exhibition, we are able to bring people out to come and see what those entrepreneurs are doing and see how they can work for us locally. At least, having gone round now, you can see that quite a number of indigenous things are being done by female entrepreneurs as well as young people and we found out that they are good as the things we get abroad”, he added.

According to the Chairman of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) committee of the NBCC, Mathew Adeleye, the event was organized by the SMEs to give female entrepreneurs the opportunity to display their entrepreneur skills to the public as women are contributing greatly to economy development.

While admitting that the major challenges facing entrepreneurs in Nigeria is finance, he advised Lagos state government to ensure the recent disbursing of funds to SMEs get to the right people.

“Most of the time, what we hear is that Lagos is disbursing fund, but is the fund getting to the right people that need it? We heard that they are disbursing fund but whether or not the fund have been targeted to the right person is a different matter entirely.

Meanwhile, he encouraged entrepreneurs to move from the era of complain to that of tapping opportunities from the mirage of challenges and be willing to start small.An entrepreneur, Ginika Okafor also confirmed that it is difficult to get those disbursed fund because of lot of processes involved.

She described the process as very strenuous and difficult to accomplish all the requirements; “ the SMEs don’t have all these things available as they are just starting up so is like you have to do something to get something but you don’t have that thing you need to do to get the other” she said.

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