By Emmanuella Anokam
The Forum of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Business Membership Organisations of Nigeria (FOMBMO) has urged all BMOs to work toward actualisation of its MSME Bank.
The bank, it said, would mitigate financial challenges and be fully owned and subscribed by MSME operators in Nigeria with highest number of shareholders estimated at 42 million.
Dr Albert Akinyemi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, MSME Forum gave the charge on Thursday in Abuja at its second strategic planning meeting.
“Lack of Access to finance remains serious constraint to operations and ability of MSME operators.
“In the bid to fully develop and expand businesses, operators are faced with bottlenecks and challenges when seeking for loans and credit facilities from financial institutions.”
Akinyemi noted that this kind of sectoral bank are obtained in South Africa, India, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.
He said that they were not fragmented but collectively owned by MSMEs to tackle its financial constraints and spur economic growth.
He said the forum wants to change the MSME Sub-sector by institutionalising it as being done in developed economies where courses on MSME are taught in universities.
“Part of the process of institutionalisation is to have a data base that contains necessary information on all MSMEs for projection and research purposes.
“We have kick -started the process with the creation of our website (www.msmeforum.org.ng),” he noted.
Mr Joseph Attah, Chairman, MSMEs Forum Inauguration Planning Committee, while expressing displeasure at the current financial pace of MSMEs, said the proposed bank would be the most capitalised bank in Nigeria with N1 trillion.
Attah said the bank, to be established in the six geopolitical zones, would provide sustainable single digit financial services, using simplified low cost digital model.
In terms of addressing infrastructural challenges, he explained that the bank would look into solar panel establishment and facilities that could improve profitability of business.
Prof. Hussein Ibrahim, Director -General, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) acknowledged the MSMEs as veritable platform to achieve mandate of the council.
Ibrahim, in a goodwill message, said the council was in the vanguard of promoting MSMEs in Nigeria through raw materials availability and sustained distribution of seedlings to boost farmers’ produce.
Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, a representative of the Bank of Industry (BOI), also restated the bank’s commitment to provision of financial assistance and funding for equipment and working capital to MSMEs operators.
According to him, BOI offers low interest rate of 10 per cent while beneficiaries must be registered companies or operators who meet all regulatory requirements.
Majority of the MSMEs operators in attendance also raised concerns on the scope and decentralisation of the bank with hope to capture different categories of MSMEs and address their financial and infrastructure challenges, especially power.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)