Concerned about the poor financing of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in Nigeria, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria has called on the three tiers of government to increase the amount of money allocated to financing of SEMs.
The President of ICAN Razak Jaiyeola, who made this call a press briefing in Lagos, stated that if the negative impact of productive economic activities on the environment and the failure of corporate entities to absorb the total cost of their operations practice was not checked, it would lead to the tragedy of the commons, stunted economic growth and pains for all.
Jaiyeola outlined some of the major challenges confronting SMEs to include poor infrastructure, policy inconsistency, access to finance, access to markets and business support.
He added that high level of unskilled labour, under-performing value-chain, difficult regulatory environment and multiple-taxation were some other issues crippling the growth of the SMEs.
The President said; “The Institute would support SMEs by reviewing its training curriculum to include entrepreneurship and SME development, creating a department for SME advisory services and generally guiding SMEs to overcome the challenges of the environment.
“Agribusiness SMEs remain one of Nigeria’s greatest hopes for economic growth and development due to its potential for high growth rate in real terms spanning across various segments of agricultural value chains and accounting for about 97 percent of the Agricultural GDP. The government should empower agribusiness SMEs to take advantage of the agricultural value chain.”
He urged the government to urgently intervene in critical areas such as building essential infrastructure, improved incentives and increased allocations for SMEs development.
Jaiyeola stressed that that if SMEs were supported as envisaged they have the capacity to address unemployment, grow the economy, contribute to GDP, build blocks for large businesses, introduce innovation and stabilise the society.
According to him, “ICAN can add to public value by promoting compliance to highest ethical practices; persuading those with governance responsibility to conduct business in open, transparent and accountable manner; developing professional, technical and ethical standards that support social and economic development; advocating for financial regulations that will guarantee value for money; and repositioning itself to drive best practices in corporate governance in the country.”