The Credit Bureau Association of Nigeria (CBAN) has stated that despite efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), credit bureaus, and financial institutions to make loans accessible to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), only four per cent out of the 40 million MSMEs in the country have access to credit.
The Managing Director, Chairman Credit Bureau Association of Nigeria, Dr. Tunde Popoola, said it is as a result of this that CBAN is seeking ways to deepen access to credit for MSMEs by focusing on capacity building and awareness creation for small businesses. At a webinar tagged “MSMEs and access to credit”, organised by CBAN, he said easy access to credit has become imperative for MSMEs to perform their role as the engine of growth of the economy.
He said some of the issues hindering the growth of MSMEs included lack of adequate bookkeeping, inadequate capacity to present good business plans, inadequate business presence and the challenge of providing collateral to be used to access credit. “We have a lot that we do in advocacy on the issue of credit and we do a lot of capacity building for our stakeholders. For us at CBAN, we pride ourselves in our ability to develop the capacity to advocate for what we think would bolster every business and individual to get access to credit in Nigeria.
He advised MSMEs to go digital with their financial records, saying that there are various funding opportunities and intervention funds by the government, fintech companies and commercial banks. The Managing Partner, Taisha Associates, Taiwo Popoola, said MSMEs are the bedrock of the economy, but stated that bookkeeping still remains a challenge affecting their operations in the country.
According to him, bookkeeping gives small business access to loans for business expansion, saying that having a well kept book gives lenders or investors clear ideas on the financial state of the business and to make financial projections and investments. He noted that lack of keeping good records is one of the reasons MSMEs are finding it difficult to expand their businesses while also staying afloat.
The Managing Director, Credit Registry, Jameela Sharrief-Ayedun, emphasized the need for businesses to deploy the use of technology to deepen their access to credit to expand their access to credit. She recommended that MSMEs must take cognizance of the 3Cs to get easy access to credit from financial institutions
“The 3Cs include capacity, character and capital. A good financial record keeping demonstrates the capacity to pay back loans while also showing that you have a consistent income to pay back loans while character is another quality MSMEs must have to get access to loans because it shows your willingness to pay back. Bookkeeping can help you to be able to demonstrate the character to have a good credit score,” she advised.