Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to put in place credit schemes to help improve credit access, so that many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), could have access to loans.
The President of the chamber, Mr. Babatunde Paul Ruwase, who made the call noted that at the moment many of the MSMEs are not able to access credit.
“Our observation reveals that many commercial banks are still reluctant in granting credit to this important sector of the economy. Not many MSMEs have benefitted from the N220billion MSMEs fund set aside by the CBN. We advise the CBN to put in place measures at de-risking the sector so that banks would be more comfortable at making funds available to MSMEs,” he stated.
Ruwase, who stated this at a press briefing on the state of the nation recently, said the CBN’s move towards developing a Trade Receivables Portal to enable MSMEs trade their invoices with financial institutions to improve their cash flow is welcome development.
“We are however sceptical about the workability of this laudable idea judging by the current disposition of commercial banks to lending to MSMEs, except this trend is reversed,” he stressed.
On oil and gas sector, he said the chamber is worried about the slow pace of the much needed reforms in the Oil and Gas industry in general that will accelerate the desired growth in the sector, adding that the delay in the signing of the PIB into law was also not helping matters.
He suggested that the government should intensifies efforts at attracting private investments in refineries coupled with ensuring that the ongoing Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) and repair of the four refineries intended to put them back on stream to operate at their installed capacity is expeditiously completed.
He also urged the President to appoint a minister of Petroleum in his new cabinet to oversee and coordinate the activities of the petroleum industry and not just a minister of state for petroleum.
He advised the president to get a seasoned technocrat with the requisite experience and knowledge of the industry to serve as the minister of petroleum as against a regular politician.