BoI, SMEDAN, NEXIM to conduct ratings on SMEs

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The Bank of Industry (BoI), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), have hired the services of an agency to conduct ratings on Nigeria’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

A memorandum of understanding authorising was signed in Abuja, presided over by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar.

She lamented that SMEs sector was beset with numerous challenges, most especially access to finance.

She was confident that the coming of rating agency was a good development that would spur SMEs growth.

“Access to finance has been an age long challenge to MSMEs and despite the various interventions put in place to facilitate funding for this sector, little impact is made on the expansion of these enterprises.

“The proposed credit rating agency will compliment this effort by providing an objective opinion on the potentialities and credit worthiness of MSMEs.

“A rating agency typically should design scoring solutions for SMEs, typically A, B,C,D, E etc.

“Financial institutions will use this rating to decide the kind of relationship they will develop with the SMEs in granting loans such as the amount to be granted, the price (rate of interest) it will agree upon and the level of security/ collateral required, if any.

“We strongly hope that this will not incur additional costs and bureaucracy to accessing finance by MSMEs,” the minister said.

“It is a deliberate effort to have invited all stakeholders here at this roundtable to mutually discuss the viability and provide an opportunity to harvest inputs that would facilitate the seamless commencement and operations of a rating agencies,” she noted.

BOI managing director, Mr. Kayode Pitan, described the decision to engage agency to conduct due diligence analysis on all SMEs as very important.

He noted that with over 37 million SMEs in the country, contributing 48.9 percent to the GDP, it remained a sad development that the sector got paltry   0.29 percent of the total loan granted by financial institutions.

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