By Christy Anyanwu
The Nigeria Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME), Lagos State, has geared up to assist its members play a central role in the national quest to pull the economy out of recession.
To this end, NASME will hold its first roundtable conference entitled, Transforming the Economy through MSME Support, on July 13 in Lagos, to brainstorm on how vital agencies of government, including the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) can help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of NASME, Mr. Solomon Aderoju, who gave insight into the motivation for the proposed event, said the only way to bring the country out of recession was through empowerment of small businesses.
“We believe that if all the stakeholders come together – the regulators, government agencies, bankers and the MSME operators – we should be able to find a way of going forward, how we can add value, because the only way to bring this economy out of recession is through MSME support,” Aderoju said. He noted that members have been finding it tough accessing credit facilities from banks due to high interest rates, adding that microfinance banks’ charges are too high for their members. “We need long term funding; accessing these credits is very chaotic. We want bankers to tell us how we can access credit facilities from them, which is going to be very seamless without much time wasting.” He urged the government to give operators more conducive environment to thrive by improving the availability of power, good roads, other infrastructure and grants to MSME. In his remarks, the President of NASME Cooperatives, Dr. Adams Adebayo, reiterated the importance of the conference, saying: “The multiplier effect of supporting SMEs is much. Government should come to our aid. Give us what it takes to survive in this economy and also encourage the youth to start and produce something wholesome by waiving tariffs for small organisations.”