The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have begun talks on how to fund Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). A statement from SMEDAN said the two agencies were working on reviving the capital market option for proper funding of SMEs.
Signed by Mr Levi Anyikwa, the Assistant Director (Corporate Affairs) of the agency, the statement said that Mrs Daisy Ekineh, the Executive Commissioner (Operations) of SEC, made the announcement when she visited SMEDAN. The statement quoted Ekineh as saying that the commission knew that economies were actually grown by SMEs which had access to bank credit.
“SEC is here to raise fund. We want to collaborate with SMEDAN to see what we can do to eliminate these financial constraints on the creation, operation and expansion of viable and sustainable development of SMEs,” it quoted her as saying.
According to the statement, there is the need to have a baseline statistics on SMEs as well as an SME rating scheme that will aid the development of the sector.
The statement said the Director-General of SMEDAN, Alhaji Muhammad Umar, commended SEC for the zeal, patriotism and the interest in partnering with SMEDAN to reposition SMEs. It said that Umar stressed that Nigeria needed funding options for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to grow the economy in a sustainable manner.
“The agency is working closely with other partners to provide an SME Baseline Data and Rating Scheme so SEC and other stakeholders should participate actively in the implementation of the national policy on MSMEs,” it quoted him as saying.
It said that Umar identified the absence of cheap and long-term funds among other problems which were affecting small businesses and canvassed for the removal of collateral as pre-condition for bank loans. Before the recent decline in the fortunes of the capital market, the Nigerian Stock Exchange used to have the second-tier and third-tier markets that accommodated investment in SMEs.