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OPS to FG: $7bn loan target insufficient to revamp economy

With the Tuesday’s approval of World Bank’s $3 billion loan for Nigeria, of the $7 billion targets from international donors, members of the Organized Private Sector (OPS) have said the $7 billion loan would be insufficient to adequately cater for the needs of Nigeria and its Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (MSMEs) post-COVID-19.

Instead, the OPS urged the federal government to create the need for alternative funding solutions for MSMEs in the country, saying that it was no secret that MSMEs was finding harder to keep businesses afloat compared to larger sized companies at the moment. Chairman, Nigerian Association of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Dr. Adams Adebayo, made this known to New Telegraph in Lagos, that the World Bank’s $3 billion and $4 billion from other international donors like International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the African Development Bank to support the Nigeria’s economy would not be sufficient for COVID-19 impact remedies and the intervention measures to keep MSMEs afloat in the country.

NASME is one of the key members of the Organized Private Sector, the regulators of chambers of commerce in Nigeria. Adebayo noted that it was alarming that Nigeria was pursuing $7billion loan from the World Bank and other multilateral agencies to revamp its fragile economy following COVID-19 pandemic at a period the United States of America (USA) was taking steps to secure an additional $250billion to complement $350billion already budgeted as relief funds for MSMEs. Adebayo said: “Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are the major drivers of economies globally, and as such should command a significant amount of attention and resources from governments globally.

“Developed countries across the world have realized the importance of MSMEs within the economy and have actively take steps to ameliorate the impact of shocks such as a global pandemic on these essential growth drivers. “Historically, financing has been identified as a major challenge for MSMEs – especially in developing countries, even more so in times of economic uncertainty. It is no secret that MSMEs find it a lot harder to keep their businesses afloat compared to larger sized companies. “In view of this reality, the USA is taking steps to secure an additional $250 billion to complement $350 billion already budgeted as relief funds for MSMEs.

Nigeria, however, is currently seeking approximately $7 billion from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and The African Development Bank to support the economy according to Zainab Ahmed, Finance Minister. “In the event of a successful fund raise from the above listed multilateral agencies, it is evident that $7billion would be insufficient to cater adequately for the needs of Nigeria and its MSMEs thereby creating the need for alternative funding solutions for MSMEs.”

 

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