THE Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, (SMEDAN) has urged financial institutions to design programmes that will enable small businesses to easily access funds. Mr Dikko Radda, Director-General of SMEDAN, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday. Radda said that funding has been the major challenge for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. He said that the Federal Government has done a lot to ensure that funding would not be an issue to SMEs in the country.
According to him, the agency has been pleading with financial institutions to have a programme that will eliminate the difficulties small businesses encounter trying to access funds. He said that government has a lot of funding programmes for SMEs but the problem has been the process of obtaining the loans. “In an effort to help SMEs access loans, we are in the process of establishing SMEs Rating Agency of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI), Nigeria Export and Import (NEXIM) Bank and Dun and Bradstreet Nigeria Limited. “SMEs in the country have suffered high mortality rate largely due to inadequate finance to sustain their enterprises,’’ Radda said.
The DG also said that the rating of small and medium enterprises would enable them secure financing from banks. Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria has established National Collateral Registry of Nigeria to improve access to finance particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Radda said that the collateral registry would facilitate the use of movable or personal assets as collateral that remained in possession or control of the borrowers and thereby improved access to secured finance. “You can use your movable assets for example generator, car and machine even gold as far as it is registered to access funds,’’ he said. Radda said that the establishment of the Development Bank of Nigeria to address the major financing challenges facing MSMEs in Nigeria was a welcome development. He expressed dismay that SMEDAN was not represented on the bank’s board. “There should be an agency that can represent the interest of SMEs at the board of the bank,’’ he said.