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SMEDAN D-G calls for establishment of MSMEs bank




The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) on Tuesday called for the establishment of a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) bank in the country.

The Director General of SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Masari, made the call at the 2nd National MSMEs Summit in Abuja.

The summit had as the theme: ”Entrepreneurship for National Development: The Place of MSMEs in the economy under the change agenda”.

Masari said that the bank was necessary to provide a dedicated and sustainable funding window for the development of the MSMEs subsector toward economic empowerment and job creation.

He also proposed the adoption of the cooperative lending model as practised in other countries such as Bangladesh for lending to small businesses to address the issue of lack of collateral.

“These measures will go a long way in checking the problem of lack of access to fund that is hampering the growth and development of the country’s MSMEs subsector.

“There is no doubt that a well structured MSMEs sub-sector can contribute significantly to employment generation, wealth creation and development in Nigeria.

“The current economic realities facing us as a nation caused by declining crude oil price, the foreign exchange crisis and significant capital outflows require a fundamental diversification of the economy.

“Therefore, a new impetus must be generated to expand the operational horizon of MSMEs in Nigeria toward achieving this objective.”

Masari said that the summit, which was one of the strategies for unlocking the productive potential of MSMEs, would further provide solutions to the challenges confronting the sector.

The lead speaker at the summit and founder of the Lagos Business School, Prof. Pat Utomi, said that lack of finance was not the real problem confronting the MSMEs sector.

He said that the real issue was lack of a culture of value creation, which he added was the soul of entrepreneurship.

“We begin by blaming the fact that the money is not there. All the emphasis in policy making in our country has been how to open the window for money to be available.

“And when the window is open, the money escapes through another door because nobody asks what the beneficiary of the fund is trying to achieve.

“Let us focus on what the real problem is; it is not the money. We first need to develop a culture of value creation, which entrepreneurship is all about.

“We create values when we solve problems that exist in our society. All around us are problems that when solved people can get real material benefits from.

“But because that orientation is not quite there, we look at the wonderful things that the guy next door seems to be doing and we think going into business is doing exactly what he is doing.

“What arise are all these imitation initiatives that don’t add value to make them sustainable,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit attracted a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including existing and intending MSMEs.

Others were business development services providers, financial institutions and manufacturers of equipment for MSME operations, among others.

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