Expert canvasses review of interest rate to spur SMEs growth

The only way to fast-track economic prosperity through the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, is to drastically cut down interest rate, and create access to finance, the Managing Director/CEO, H. Pierson Associates Limited, Mrs. Eileen Shaiyen, has said.
   
Shaiyen, who made the call in Lagos at the weekend, said there is need to create institutional support for SME growth, and ultimately generate more job opportunities for the youths.
   
She pointed out that if Nigeria can operate a single digit interest rate, it would go a long way to stimulate developmental activities in the sector on a long-term basis.

    
She said: “I believe we need to step back and review our approach to the SME business. A lot of the SME business requires venture capital, private equity. It is a different kind of money. It is not the traditional banking; the traditional money we find in our banking system does not focus on this kind of business.
   
“The SME space is a desperate space, and l think we must do something very quickly to come to its aid. But in the short term, while we are making that strategic change, we need to look at the issue of interest rate. If we can get interest rate down to single digit, it will make a world of difference in Nigeria.”
 
On efforts by the government to diversify the nation’s economy, Shaiyen commended the present administration on its well-articulated diversification strategies, urging them to fast-track the execution of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
   
“You will agree with me that it is very well-focused, well-articulated. But what we need is execution. In strategy, everything is about execution. As we go through to 2019, what we need is consistency in governance, and timeline for execution.

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