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Raising stake in SMEs financing, growth in Nigeria

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First Bank of Nigeria. Photo: NAIRAMETRICS

From unemployment reduction to its contribution to government revenue, the benefits of a well-developed Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector can never be over emphasized. Given their contributions, nations have set out plans to develop the MSMEs sector to achieve economic growth.

In high-income countries, MSMEs contribute well over 65 per cent of employment and about 48 per cent to the GDP, while in low-income countries; they contribute to about 30 per cent of employment and about 15 per cent of GDP.

MSMEs have been generally acknowledged as the backbone to the success of developed nations, gaining popularity through the success rates in such developed economies that invested in the sector.

There also exists a relationship between the informal sector, MSMEs and economic development. In low-income countries, the contribution from the informal sector is rather high, unlike high-income countries where the contribution from the informal sector is low.

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This gives room for the development of the informal sector, to reduce the gap between the formal and informal sector and allow the poor to actively participate in the economy

For the Nation to be among the 20 most economically advanced nations in the world by the year 2020, serious attention must be paid to the development of the MSMEs sub-sector in Nigeria

The contributions of MSMEs to the economic growth of countries have been very significant. SMEs are viewed as an engine of growth that contributes enormously to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) employment generation, industrial output poverty alleviation, export promotion, and self-independence

In Nigeria, despite the fact MSMEs has been identified as a tool for economic development and provision of employment, variety of challenges seems to have a negative impact that constraint MSMEs from playing the vital role of stimulating economic development.

To this effect, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand has over the years demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the business success of SMEs in Nigeria.

At the just concluded Ehingbeti, the Lagos Economic Summit, the Group Chief Executive Officer of First Bank, Adesola Adeduntan said the bank has a cocktail of products and bespoke solutions, specifically designed to help grow and sustain SMEs; enable them play out their business activities as well as fulfill their goals and aspirations.

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In addition, the bank offers advisory services that are tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of their SME customers.

He said the bank is enthusiastic about the SME segment as one of the strategic platforms to stimulate economic development.

“We have SME CONNECT portal which serves as a advisory services platform to help them up their skills, supporting them to make accurate decisions and a number of banks have similar support system. We refine and update the portal. Our SMEs portfolio is quite sizeable considering Nigeria’s population.

“Our support for relevant businesses helps us come far especially the SMEs. We have been active in providing various financing instruments. The path to growth and development of the Nigerian economy is growing the SMEs segment,” he said

With a bouquet of bespoke products and services, First Bank is set to place SMEs ahead of their competition through collaborations with the business owners to provide flexible and dependable services, helping each SME fulfill life time dreams for their businesses.

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