The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in collaboration with Bank of Industry (BOI), Nigeria Export and Import Bank (NEXIM) and Dun & Bradstreet Nigeria Limited are set to establish a rating agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, who disclosed this, noted that the major challenge for SMEs in the country has proved to be funding.
According to him, SMEs in Nigeria have suffered high mortality rate largely due to the lack of finance for sustenance.
He stated: “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. The rating of small and medium enterprises would enable them secure financing from banks.”
Radda urged the financial institutions in Nigeria to orchestrate programs that would enable small business owners to gain easy access to funds. He said that the Federal Government has put in much effort to ensure that lack of access to finance would not continue to be an issue for SMEs in the country.
The SMEDAN DG said the agency had met with several financial institutions in the country to set up programs that would facilitate easy access to loans for small businesses. He added that government had initiated a lot of funding programs for SMEs, but the prevailing problem has been the cumbersome process of obtaining the loans.
Radda further recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) established the National Collateral Registry to improve access to finance particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
He noted that the collateral registry would enable SMEs use movable or personal assets as collateral that remained in possession of control of the borrowers, thereby, improving access to secure finance. “You can use your movable assets, such as generator, car, machine or even gold, as far as it is registered to access funds,” he added.
Radda reckoned the development of BOI is a welcome one, and expressed dismay that SMEDAN was not represented on the bank’s board, expressing that, “There should be an agency that can represent the interest of SMEs at the board of the bank.”