Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has lamented the failure of banks to lend to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Meanwhile, the apex bank has commenced the process of drafting a framework for lending to SMEs in the country aimed at improving credit to the sector.
Emefiele disclosed this at a strategy meeting with selected Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and other stakeholders, on enhancing access to credit to SMEs in the country. Stakeholders at the meeting include the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters in the Vice President's Office, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, and Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan.
Emefiele said that the framework would see more of government intervention in the sector, which many believe would result in job creation for the youths in the country.
He noted that the meeting with the DFIs was a result of the failure of lenders to make access to credit a priority. He expressed government's concern that the citizens were yet to feel the impact of the country's exit from recession, which he attributed to lack of appreciable growth.
Speaking further, he disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the CBN and the DFIs to come up with programmes that would have Nigeria and Nigerians at heart. The programme, according to him, would be one that would permeate the country in terms of granting access to credit to the rising number of SMEs.
In spite of all effort by the Bank to improve certain parameters of the economy, he said lenders had failed Nigerians.
Speakers at the strategy session were unequivocal in their attempt to find solution to the failure of the commercial banks to rescue the situation.