The Federal Government, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other financial institutions in the country yesterday in Abuja said challenges confronting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) would be tackled to improve nation's economy and reduce growing poverty.
Speaking at the 11th yearly banking and finance conference with the theme: "MSMEs: The Game Changer for Economic Growth and Development," Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele; heads of commercial banks across the country as well as the President/Chairman of Council, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Uche Messiah Olowu, said projected economic goals for Africa, particularly Nigeria, would remained unrealistic if challenges affecting the contribution of MSMEs to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the sector are not prioritised.
Mustapha, represented by his Permanent Secretary, Olusegun Adekunle, urged investors to take advantage of government policies and maximise the opportunities in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
Emefiele said government's bid to improve the economy could become a mirage without significant improvement in the contribution of the MSMEs sector.
According to him, the sector has continued to face numerous challenges, including infrastructure deficit, harsh operating environment as well as access to finance.
Olowu said the bankers would collaborate with concerned agencies of government and other bodies to strengthen the capacity of the operators of MSMEs to improve their competencies and the professionals in the banks to deliver satisfactory services to them.