‘More support for MSMEs would achieve double-digit growth’
Experts in Nigeria’s banking sector have reiterated the need for increased support to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), to achieve the quest for double-digit economic growth.
Specifically, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, said the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 1.91 per cent in 2018 to 2.27 per cent in 2019, shows that increasing support for MSMEs, given their dominant role in the economy, would fast track Nigeria’s double-digit growth pursuit.
According to him, for Nigeria to achieve its aim as the giant of Africa and as an economy to be reckoned with in the world, the nation still needs to cover a lot of mileage in the SMEs subsector.
Speaking with The Guardian, he said there were lots of opportunities for the country in this subsector, noting that Nigeria has 41.5 million MSMEs, which contributed about 48 per cent of its GDP in the last five years, and could do more if given more support.
His words: “The contribution of the MSMEs to the Nigerian economy cannot be undermined. Nigeria has 41.5 million MSMEs, which contributed about 48 percent of the GDP in the last five years.
“With a total number of about 17.4 million, MSMEs account for about 50 percent of industrial jobs and nearly 90 per cent of the manufacturing sector in terms of number of enterprises in the country.
“If the MSMEs are supported financially to take their rightful place in the economy of the nation, it would create a lot of middle class income earners, which is very vital to the economy of any nation.
“Heritage Bank is taking the lead through various initiatives such as its youth entrepreneurship development program which is aimed at increasing the contributions of the MSME segment to the economy.”
He noted that the bank is collaborating with relevant MSMEs operator to help them grow into big and sustainable businesses, as they believe that some of the businesses are critical to Nigeria’s survival.
He explained that the entrepreneur schemes of the bank in the support for businesses had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).