By Charles Okonji
As part efforts towards mitigating funding issues, the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has urged Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to register with trade groups to get access to fund their businesses.
Speaking to the press, the immediate past Chairman of NASSI, Segun Kuti-George, noted that financial institutions are only open to funding credible trade groups rather than lending to individuals.
Kuti-George stated this at a press briefing announcing the 4th NASSI MSME Trade fair scheduled to hold on the 27th of November to Tuesday 1st December, 2020 at Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja.
He said, “We are encouraging as many members as possible to form groups. Funding is accessed much 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 largely inadequate to meet the needs of over 40 million MSMEs in the country.
The former Chairman called on the federal government to encourage local producers by creating an enabling environment for the business community, stressing 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 where Nigerian markets would be flooded by products from other countries that are ready.
In her remarks , the Lagos Chairman of NASSI, Mrs. Gertrude Akhimien, said the association has been assisting businesses that were destroyed during the #Endsars protest and affected by the Covid 19, saying that it has secured the promises of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to compensate these businesses.