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Experts seek more loans for SMEs 

By Maria Diamond
27 November 2021   |   3:32 am
To drive economic activities in the country and improve the living standard of citizens, financial experts have urged the Federal Government to introduce policies that would enable small-scale businesses to have increased access to loans.

SMEs. Photo/Mamore

To drive economic activities in the country and improve the living standard of citizens, financial experts have urged the Federal Government to introduce policies that would enable small-scale businesses to have increased access to loans.

The experts, who run a digital bank, Branch, said the government must demystify the idea of loans in Nigeria to provide helpful financial services to people in the low-to-average category.
  
In a statement, yesterday, the professionals said Nigeria’s economy hinges heavily on the activities of people in the low-to-middle class whose activities drive the growth of the national economy.

“More so, Nigerians need accessible loans, as they are highly instrumental to the survival of small businesses, and even larger corporations and governments. Many people in the low-to-average income category often require some sort of aid in between paychecks.

“Records show that over the past five years, Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprise account for 50 per cent of industrial jobs and 84 per cent of total employment in Nigeria, while also contributing about 49 per cent to the country’s GDP. Despite this, it is surprising to see that traditional banks in Nigeria do not offer much funding to small businesses and low-income earners, and even when they do, they require a lot as evidence of credit-worthiness, and impossible rates as interest on the principal amount,” the statement said.

The digital banking experts stated that their company thrives in accommodating lending policy towards small businesses and individuals.
They added: “This is why we have set the pace in showing how lending can be easy and beneficial to both the borrower and the lender. Branch thrives on its accommodating lending policy towards small businesses and individuals. Unlike many loan sharks today, Branch is strict against selling customer data or sharing customer contacts with third parties. Branch offers the easiest access to digital loans in Nigeria, with access to about ₦500,000 in loans.

The loan application process takes only a few steps to complete from the comfort of a mobile phone. There are no requirements for collaterals or guarantors. It’s an app that offers a safe space to people who need loans the most, and quickly too. Having perfected the art of seamless loan repayment, Branch doesn’t have to charge late fees for people who are late on repayment. Rather, more accommodating options are offered to defaulters in helping them meet up with their loan repayment plans.”

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