By Adeola Tukuru
MICRO, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria will now have seamless access to bank financing following the establishment of SME Rating Agency of Nigeria.
Th is was disclosed by Th e Minister of State, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, in Abuja, during the inauguration of Small and Medium Enterprises Rating Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN) in Abuja.
Th e minister of state, in her keynote address stressed that funding the MSMEs is the key to sustain growth in the economy since the nation’s exit from recession.
Hajiya Abubakar stated that access to finance has remained a major challenge to MSMEs, but disclosed that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has taken some steps to encourage MSMEs and improve on the ease of doing business in the country.
Such incentives include, the tax relief and pioneer status granted to some companies, the laws on the use of movable assets as collateral recently signed into law as well as VAIDS.
Th e Minister who applauded SMEDAN for the initiative called on Duns & Broadstreet, the implementing partner to ensure that the initiative does not increase the fi nancial burden of MSMEs.
She also expressed her wishes to bring more rating agencies on board for easy access of MSMEs while the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) will regulate their activities.
“Government is working hard to connect MSMEs to the world for they are very vital and key driver of every economy.
A properly rated MSME will no doubt do a lot to alleviate our problems,” she emphasised.
Th e Director General of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr Umar Dikko Radder in his remarks stressed the importance and power of MSMEs in an economy.
Radda said that MSME has been the bedrock of meaningful development, adding that conscious eff orts must be made to strengthen it.
Th e Managing Director of Bank of Industry Mr Kayode Pito, in his message said that there were 37million MSMEs in the country 2013 which contribute 48.9 percent GDP which is very low and received only about 0.
2 percent of loan giving out by banks which explains why most of them are dead.