The Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has urged Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to register with trade groups in order to get access to funds for their businesses.
The Immediate past NASSI Chairman, Segun Kuti-George, explained that financial institutions are only open to credible trade groups rather than lending to individuals.
He stated this at a press briefing to herald the 4th NASSI MSME Trade fair scheduled for November 27 to December 1, 2020.
H e “We are encouraging many members as possible to form groups. Funding is accessed much more easier when there is a group and there is a leader. There are grants and loans coming out for different groups and they are at very low interest rates.”
He said the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund is laudable, but is largely inadequate to meet the needs of over 200 million population in the country.
He however called on the federal government to encourage local producers by creating an enabling environment for the business community, saying that this is the only way Nigerian goods would compete if the nation’s border opens up for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).
On AFCFTA, he posited that the position of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) has been that Nigerian businesses are not ready due to fears that the trade deal would put Nigerian products at a disadvantage position where Nigerian markets would be flooded by products from other countries that are ready.
“If this happens, Nigerian products will suffer and most businesses would collapse. For example 50 per cent of our agric products do not make it to the market because they get wasted. The business community is also faced by funding where they do not have access to cheap loans. The government needs to assist the MSMEs more and most of these companies are producing with obsolete machines making them uncompetitive.”