Bank directors have been advised to step up efforts geared at promoting the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises in order to enhance economic recovery.
The SMEs operators, who spoke at the 2017 Annual Conference of the Bank Directors Association of Nigeria held in Lagos on Tuesday, said the Federal Government’s economic recovery drive would yield improved results if commercial banks supported small businesses adequately.
The theme of the conference was,”The role of Nigerian banks in promoting economic growth and diversification.” The BDAN had invited the SMEs operators to the annual conference to share their experiences with bank directors.
Some of the SME operators commended deposit money banks, saying they had received support from them, while others said there was still a long way to go in terms of giving adequate support to small businesses. one of the SME operators, Shola Familusi, said banks’ performance in the area of agriculture was below par, stressing the need for financial institutions to support farm businesses.
Remarking on the important role of banks, an entrepreneur and the Deputy Director of Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University, Mrs. Nneka Okikiaru said, “There is absolutely no way we can grow this economy if the banking system do not have the influence, interest and knowledge.”
“some do, some are making effort but majority of them are clueless. there is no way you can attend to the SMEs if you don’t understand the business peculiarities.”
Meanwhile, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Doyin Salami, who gave a keynote speech at the conference, emphasised the need for the economy to grow more than it was doing.
Speaking on the topic, “Nigerian economic outlook and driver of growth and diversification”, Salami said the Nigerian economy was expected to grow after exiting recession in the second quarter of this year. He highlighted three stages the economy would g through, namely: exiting recession, growth and recovery.
Salami said, “Exiting recession is one of the three stages that the economy must pass through. In other words, post positive growth. The second stage is growth – sustaining that growth and improving on it. The third is recovery – growing at the kind of rate that we had before recession.”
He added, “On the average, for us to have the gfeling that we are growing, we must be growing at 2.8 percent and beyond. Until we get to where we were before the recession, we will be growing but have not recovered yet. Recovery is about achieving growth rate matching and then sustaining and surpassing growth rate that we had.”