By NAOMI UZOR

FOLLOWING the challenges of access to funds for the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has targeted October 2014 to test-run the registry of movable collaterals.

The Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Mr. Paul Nduka Eluhaiwe, disclosed this at the general meeting of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) while presenting a paper tagged “Access to Low Interest Funds for MSMEs Development- CBN Intervention Schemes and Programmes.”

He said access to cheap and long-term finance poses a major challenge to SME development in Nigeria and that Nigeria experiences a huge SME financing gap with successive decline since the 1990s show consistent decline, adding that the CBN has targeted October 2014 to test-run the registry of movable collaterals in the country.

On CBN’s FSS 2020 mandate of developing market infrastructure and access to finance by MSME sector, he explained that the objective is to attempt to solve the problem of access to finance by MSME sector due largely to lack of collateral security.

“ MSME to access finance through movable collateral items such as: jewelleries, collectibles, stock of goods, plant/machinery, etc and the CBN has a target date of October 2014 to test-run the registry” he said.

He urged Nigerian entrepreneurs to take advantage of the CBN entrepreneurship development programmes going on in the six geo-political zones in the country as CBN is intervening in the sector to unlock the financing challenge through a number of programmes and that the Nigerian entrepreneurs can take advantage of the programmes to set up their respective businesses .

and secure funding.

Mr. Obioma Emenike of Enterprise Bank said SMEs will be quick to point out that the supportive business environment in Nigeria is very weak to sustain their growth and development, as they will gladly summarize their challenges as harsh and unfriendly business environment and poor funding.

“We are also mindful of the fact the weak entrepreneurial skills, lack of exposure to modern techniques in production, accounting and management. Amongst other issues, are also major challenges facing the SMEs. Interestingly, the sector is equally loaded with opportunities and significant untapped growth potential: strong export and employment potentials” he said.

He urged SMEs to build and develop competing skills and competences by ensuring proper local and international training for its SME staff and management. This, he said, will enable them understand the peculiar characteristics of the various sub-segments of SME, create and seamlessly deploy appropriate SME products and services.

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