Industrialist calls on banks to provide more loans to SMEs


The Managing Director of Bullion Go-Neat Global Ltd, Mr Olufemi Ajadi has urged Nigerian banks to create more Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) loans’ facilities in support of Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Industrialist calls on banks to provide more  loans to SMEs
Mr Olufemi Ajadi

He said the move would not only help the capacity of Nigerian- run companies but also help boost the economy.

Ajadi said this at a forum organised by the Commerce & Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) in Lagos.

He explained that funding support remained critical for survival of SMEs but that the government and its agencies had not seemed to appreciate that.

Ajadi said the current situation whereby emergent small firms are allowed to suffer due to the lack of finance does not augur well for the economy.

He lamented that not only was it worsening unemployment situation but it was contributing to the spiralling prices of goods and services.

He said because companies are forced to source capital from mainstream banks, at usually high interest rates, they could not sell their products at low prices.

He referred to the tag of Small & Medium Enterprises as the engine of growth, saying they could only perform such roles when they are supported by government at the teething stage.

Ajadi added that experience has shown that the government was worsening things for these firms by slamming them with huge taxes.

He said, “I believe that the government can actually help SMEs in Nigeria, afterall, these SMEs are helping the economy.

“SMEs help to create jobs, provide goods and services and should be supported by the government.”

He cited examples of other countries saying that many of them were ahead of Nigeria  because they had taken time to support their SMEs.

He is of the opinion that registration procedures could be simplified for Nigerian firms just coming up rather than the current situation whereby they are slammed with multiple taxes.

While acknowledging that some banks were trying by providing loans for firms, he said the conditionalities could be made easier.

“If you say some banks provide loans, how many companies have accessed such loans and what are the terms?

“I still believe that if government could show interest in supporting Nigerian firms, they will give Nigerian banks strong mandates on it.

“Any bank which does not follow such a directive could be sanctioned.

“If Nigerian SMEs are supported effectively through the provision of small loans, they will expand their capacity, create more jobs and help in fighting hunger and insecurity”, he stated.

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