The Managing Director (CEO) of Insight Visualization Company (an architectural firm), Mr. Samuel Effiong, said that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remain the hope of the Nigerian economy.
The CEO, who said this in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the economy would be better off if SMEs were well positioned and supported, adding that funding SME-friendly policies would go a long way towards achievement of a healthy business. controlled environment.
This, he said, would “automatically boost the economy and make the nation better, and also minimize the situation of insecurity that is ravaging our nation.”
He reiterated the need for deliberate steps to this end, saying that all statements by the leaders must be put into practice.
“Banks also need to understand that SMEs make up the bulk of their customers, and their growth would also bring more money to banks,” he said.
He expressed concern about the unbanked population in rural areas, adding that the financial inclusion sought by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was yet to be realized.
He therefore called on entrepreneurs to make efforts to improve themselves and keep good financial records to enable them to access loans and grants.
In her contribution, Managing Partner of DANJOY Enterprises, Ms. Joy Dan Eke, said that corporate finance, among other factors, has continued to constrain the growth and expansion of SMEs in Nigeria.
“The ease of high cost of credit, in addition to high interest rates, maintenance costs and demand for properly registered collateral bonds, have played a major role in limiting the performance of SMEs.
“The inconsistency of government policies and bureaucratic bottlenecks encountered in the administration of incentives and support facilities at all levels of government are not left out.
“Additionally, the presence of multiple taxes resulting from levies and other fiscal expectations from federal, state and local governments plays a significant role in slowing down the growth rate of SMEs in the country.
“Absence or limitation of infrastructure such as power supply, good roads, transportation system, raw materials and export constraints further hinder business success,” she said.
Emphasizing that the Nigerian government must sit down like other countries if it is to solve the problem of SMEs, she noted that businesses are well funded in some parts of the country than in other parts, a situation, a- she says, which must be corrected in the interests of economic development.
Another entrepreneur, Mr. Chidi Ikeji, who deals in construction materials, said that other countries that understand the power of SMEs are putting things in place to improve the smooth running of businesses which in turn boost the economies of these developed countries.
He pointed out that Nigerian entrepreneurs are exposed to various challenges, such as multiple taxation, lack of supportive policies and insecurity.
From: Lilian Peters