• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

PHCCIMA warns against channeling govt support funds through banks

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Leaders of the organised private sector in Rivers State want governments not to channel any industrial support funds through the banks. They alleged that the banks do not have the interest of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at heart and have therefore made accessibility highly difficult.

President of Port Harcourt Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Emeka Unachukwu, who spoke with vehemence at the first Rivers Business Roundtable with Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, said the major problem facing the OPS was inaccessibility of funds despite impressive annual balance sheets of Nigerian banks. He lamented the dwindling fortunes of the SMEs in the country, saying the government needed to do something.

He charged governments at all levels to desist from wholly entrusting banks with the mandate of implementing government policies on SMEs, drawing his conclusion from the fact that banks normally choose to do it their own way with no leverage in place for SMEs.

According to him, the policies of the Nigerian government were regrettably structured for developed economies and not for an emerging economy such as Nigeria’s, and insisted that the SME policies should be well articulated to meet the demand of Nigeria’s emerging economy.

He maintained that the real issue should be how to finance the SMEs which obviously forms the crux of the nations real economy even as he observed that it’s not enough having a stable economy without having a go at the SMEs.

Speaking about policies that affect the SMEs and the various challenges, the PHCCIMA helmsman observed that members of the OPS were not aware when policies on SMEs were made nor were they aware of what policies banks had for SMEs.

IGNATIUS CHUKWU