Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting
Former Edo State Commissioner of Business, Trade and Cooperatives, Hon. Afie Braimoh, has called for a strong financial base for Small and Medium Enterprises to succeed in the nation’s harsh economy.
She described a strong financial foundation as the bedrock for success of Small and Medium Enterprises in addition to availability of credit and practical tips for building and maintaining a robust credit profile.
Braimoh made the call at an event organised by Credit Registry in collaboration with Afreximbank in Lagos, tagged: ‘The Africa Credit Expo (ACE)’,
Speaking on the topic titled: ‘Financial Empowerment For SMEs: Take Your Business International While Working Local’, the Special Adviser, Africa Business Trade, Braimoh, said access to finance is equally key, as she listed options to include traditional bank loans, microfinance, angel investors, venture capital, crowdfunding and government-backed loans.
She observed that since several businesses have divergent needs, understanding the suitability of each financing option was crucial for effective financial management.
The former Edo State Commissioner for Trade and Investment listed other leeway as government support and incentives, as well as strategic partnerships with financial institutions.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Tunde Lemo, noted that the credit expo was to expose Nigerians to the benefits of money and how it had developed many nations.
He added that the meeting was also to engender credit economy in the country and educate the citizenry on use of money for positive outcomes.
Also, the keynote speaker and Founder of Credit Registry, Taiwo Ayedun, put Nigeria’s untitled assets at about N430 trillion, using rough estimates of 22.5 million population, 4.5 million households at a threshold of N20 million per family.
While delivering a presentation on ‘Turning Nigeria’s ‘Dead Capital’ into Great Wealth,’ Ayedun told participants that mortgage contributes 18 per cent to the United States economy.
The software engineer defined ‘dead capital’ as assets not legally registered with government authorities, saying that they are dead to the economy and lack titles.
According to him, Hernando de Solo, who popularised in his book, ‘The Mystery of ‘Dead Capital’, described the coinage as assets which cannot easily be converted for meaningful use.
Ayedun charged the government to sanitise the system, offering a number of solutions that include the establishment of title insurance companies to facilitate bank loans and promotion of Lien Registry.
Lien Registry refers to a legal claim against property that gives the creditor the right to sell the asset to liquidate debt.
He advised that every home must have a title that can be used at the capital market.
Besides asking for creation of mortgage liquidity, Ayedun stated that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was $500 billion in 2022, could grow to over $3 trillion in the next eight years if credit economy is well embraced.