Economic group seeks more funding for SMEs

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has urged banks and other finance institutions to grant Small and Medium Scale Enterprises(SMEs) more access to funds, to boost their production.
Mrs Eniola Dada, Consultant, Trade, Investment and Competitiveness Policy Commission of the group, made the appeal  on Friday.
Dada spoke with newsmen on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Full Gospel Business Men Fellowship International for SME operators.
The theme of the seminar is: “Navigating the Future of Business Environment in Nigeria.’’
Dada noted that poor funding was the bane of development of the SMEs, adding that a wider access to credit would address the problem.
The consultant added that SMEs were strategic to the growth of the economy and urged government to also develop policies that would improve the funding of the real sector.
“The SME sector is the engine room of all economies in the world, Nigeria inclusive, so there is the need for us to ensure that this critical sector has greater access to funds.”
“Therefore, we are saying the banks, specialised finance institutions and government need to do more to ensure SMEs have wider access to loans.”
“They should understand that the major challenge of the real sector is poor funding and they should be open to support the growth of the sector and the economy.”
“You see governments over the years have initiated various programmes to support the growth of small businesses.”
“But the question to ask is what has become of those great initiatives? The answer is that SMEs cannot access credit to give life to their ideas. So, there is need to address that problem,’’ she said.
The NESG consultant also urged the SMEs to rethink their business models to enable them to operate sustainably in a challenging economy.
Dada urged operators to have at the back of their minds that the primary reason why they were in business was their value addition before money.
She said the pitfall of most small businesses was the emphasis on money motive, rather than delivering goods and services that satisfied the needs of consumers.
The consultant, therefore, urged entrepreneurs to focus more on satisfying their clients, saying that it was a key to prosperity in business.

NAN/Ime N