By Chioma Obinagwam
Concerned about rising unemployment rate, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reached a decision at the Bankers’ Committee meeting held in Lagos, recently to boost employment through lending to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The CBN disclosed that the funds can be accessed through collateral registration and enjoined small businesses to avail themselves of the opportunity.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa said: “One of the things we discussed is Collateral Registry to the extent that this has started. It is an opportunity for small businesses to put themselves in a position to begin to access funding from that.
Even for us as banks ourselves, it also makes it easier for us to facilitate lending.”
Access to the funds, he noted, would translate to more employment opportunities, and would aid full recovery from recession.
“Even as we’re coming out of recession, there are processes in place to facilitate lending to small businesses, which in turn will contribute to employment as we go forward.
So, there are a number of things that we are seeing that will allow the process of coming out of recession,” he continued.
‘The Collateral Registry Act’ ensures that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria can register their movable assets such as motor vehicles, equipment and accounts receivable in the National Collateral Registry, and use same as collateral for accessing loans. This in turn will increase their chances at accessing financing and tackle one of the major obstacles faced by MSMEs.
With the unemployment rate in Nigeria hovering around 14.2 per cent, there is optimism that with this approach embarked upon by the CBN, Nigeria is on its way to tackling unemployment in the country.