Business Experts Identify Thorough Micro-Credit Initiatives as Impetus for Entrepreneurial Development and Growth

By Adesina Adetola

Some notable experts in business finance and development present at this year’s annual anniversary lecture of January 9 Collectives, a non partisan, nongovernmental socio-economic group have declared that only thorough and well-structured micro-credit initiatives can aid genuine development and growth of entrepreneurial enterprise of the Nigerian citizenry.

In a well attended event chaired by the former governor of Ekiti State and the current National Vice Chairman, South of the ruling party, APC, Engr. Segun Oni, held at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, the speakers were unequivocal in their declaration that, only a sincere assistance in form of meticulous micro-credit initiative can propel small scale entrepreneurs to business growth and financial sustenance.

In his opening remarks, Oni pointed out that it is obvious that SMEs is an integral part of the national economy, and its development is one of the surest ways out of the current economic challenges, but the system must address the question of integrity and fidelity of the stakeholders, most especially, the bad debtors.

“In the past government at various levels have tried to put in place credit facilities for small scale business owners, but the unfortunate thing about it is that, most of the beneficiaries see it as their own slot of the national cake, they would collect the money without any plan to return it, the worse part of it is that many would collect it and use it on inconsequential things. He stated.

Speaking under the main theme; “Driving Entrepreneurship through Micro-Credit Initiatives” the speakers which include; the CEO Gbenga Badejo Consulting, Gbenga Badejo, the Executive Director of Enterprise Development Centre LBS, Peter Bamkole, the DG of Development Agenda of Western Nigeria (DAWN), Dipo Famakinwa, the Chairman of Aeroland Limited, Segun Adewale and the President, National Association of Microfinance Banks of Nigeria, Valentine Whensu, took their turns to establish the fact that, the nation’s socio-economic recovery can be hastened if thorough established to aid entrepreneurial development through micro-credit initiatives.

Commenting on the possibility of everyone meeting the criteria of obtaining loan facility in the Micro Finance Bank Institution, Peter Bamkole, was the opinion that, the integrity of the low and the downtrodden people in the society is enough for their collateral; “Government and the stakeholders must put in place structure that will endeavour the poor and the downtrodden people who they know and are sure of their personalities to be able to use their integrities as collaterals in obtaining small and feasible loan facilities to boost their businesses”. He said.

Segun Adewale, in his speech which is centred on his personal experience in starting a business for no-capital base and raise it to a large conglomerate blamed the lack of political will by the country’s leadership to genuinely help the poor and small scale business owners. According to him, it is only a few people can experienced his situation and still make it in life.

“Nigeria system does not encourage a beginner; the structures are not there, what I faced as a young undergraduate was pathetic, I did all sort of menial works to establish and ensure my company is registered and well-footed, we need to go to the basics and see how it is done elsewhere”. He declared.

While Adewale recommended the ......formula for Nigeria, Valentine Whensu stressed that for the country to drive employment and job creation, government at all levels must do a lot to genuinely develop the quantity and quality of the nation’s entrepreneurs.

“Our educational policies must be re-structured to a thorough financial study and entrepreneurship, government should revisit the taxation policy, and there is a lot of taxes duplication from the Local to Federal governments. Too many taxes discourage savings and kills business.” He said.

Meanwhile, in his earlier welcome address, the group’s helmsman, Captain Wole Olagunsoye reiterated that the lecture is designed based on the premise of the core objective of the group to propose formidable ideas and initiatives that can positively influence policies in the public and private sector towards a greater Nigeria. He said this year’s topic was inspired by the great difficulty aspiring businesses contend with as a result of the inadequacies of conventional financial solutions. According to him, thisnaturally worsens the state of unemployment and increases the misery experienced by the citizenry.