Director General ( DG), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria ( SMEDAN), Bature Masari has said that until every Nigerian, particularly, the army of unemployed graduates in the country are self employed, the nation is sitting on time bomb.
Speaking with select Journalists in an interview at the weekend in Kaduna, Masari said the situation is equal to a time bomb if government does not encourage and promote self employment mechanism for the people through small and medium enterprises engagement.
To this end, he called for the adoption of the cooperative lending model as practised in other countries such as Taiwan and Bangladesh for lending to small businesses to address the issue of lack of collateral.
He also called for the establishment of a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) bank in the country.
Masari said that the bank was necessary to provide a dedicated and sustainable funding window for the development of the MSMEs subsector toward economic empowerment and job creation.
“These measures will go a long way in checking the problem of lack of access to fund that is hampering the growth and development of the country’s MSMEs subsector.
“There is no doubt that a well structured MSMEs sub-sector can contribute significantly to employment generation, wealth creation and development in Nigeria.
“The current economic realities facing us as a nation caused by declining crude oil price, the foreign exchange crisis and significant capital outflows require a fundamental diversification of the economy.
“Therefore, a new impetus must be generated to expand the operational horizon of MSMEs in Nigeria toward achieving this objective,” he said.
He pointed out that if government and other relevant agencies had made loan easily accessible for the people to go into small businesses, there would be little or no cases of Boko Haram, kidnapping and other social vices across the country.
The SMEDAN Boss, however said with the opening up of offices for the agency in the 36 States of the country, there will be less interest in white collar jobs by unemployed youths because the agency will assist to facilitate and monitor loans acquired by every beneficiaries either from Bank of Industry ( BOI ) or Bank of Agriculture ( BOA).
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