At a one-day training programme for 80 MSMEs operators organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in Ilorin, the executive director/CEO of the council, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said that an increasing supply gap in credit to MSMEs by financial institutions has posed a serious threat to growth and development of the subsector.
The NEPC boss, who was represented by the Trade Promotion Advisor, Ilorin Export Assistance Office, Mr Akinwunmi James, said that many of the MSMEs operators in the country faced the challenge of writing bankable business plans to attract grants and loans, added that the council is desirous of promoting development and financial inclusiveness of MSMEs exporters for inclusive growth.
He said that the training was specially packaged to train MSMEs on how to get financial support from government-owned financial institutions and commercial banks for their start-up, running expenses, purchase of equipment etc and also arrive at the proper objectives for their business strategic decisions through the writing of credible/bankable business plan and proposal.
“This training is therefore intended to train MSMEs and potential exporters on best practices in preparing business plans/proposals.
“To ensure business continuity by deepening MSMEs knowledge through the provision of innovative lending solutions to exporters by financial institutions.
“To provide solutions designed to boost financial literacy and improve the creditworthiness of MSMEs and intending exporters.”
Dr Yakusak, who said that MSMEs had provided the mechanism for driving indigenous industries, creating employment opportunities and helping the development of technology in many countries, added that they are a source of dynamism, innovation and flexibility.
In his speech, the Trade Promotion Advisor, Ilorin Export Assistance Office, Mr Akinwunmi James, read by Mr Ayinde Mosadi, said that the workshop was part of efforts of the NEPC in the diversification of the Nigerian economy through non-export trades in Nigeria.
“Also, the programme is to sensitise the public about “Export for Survival” in achieving the goals of the National Export Sustainability Plan (NESP) through export development. The programme is aimed at equipping MSMEs and potential exporters with adequate knowledge on how to write credible/bankable proposal and business plan. It is no more news
that non-oil export is increasingly becoming important to the economic development of Nigeria as a result of high volatilities in oil price. This is more noticeable in the drop in foreign reserve, weakening of foreign exchange earnings, and the high unemployment rate among others,” he said.
In his paper, one of the facilitators, Collins Nwaosu, said that bankable business plans should be understandable and reliable, adding that the plan should be able to convince on repayment and explain the impact of particular business in view.