Support for MSMEs Will Tackle Unemployment

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Sustained support and improved access to finance for micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is a means of tackling unemployment and addressing global population explosion, the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) said.

Shehu Yahaya, Chairman of DBN, said this when Queen Maxima of Netherlands and the United Nations secretary-general’s special advocate for inclusive finance for development visited the bank in Abuja. He  said 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is attributed to SMEs.

The DBN chairman also noted that only less than five percent of these businesses had access to credit in the financial system.

“I will start by providing context to the situation that will confront the world over the next 20 to 50 years if strategic and sustained support is not afforded MSMEs as a critical segment of any economy,” he said.

“The current world population of 7.3 billion is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100. To manage this growth, 600 million jobs are needed over the next 15 years to absorb a growing global workforce”, he said.

He said the employment need in Nigeria will be 30 – 40 million jobs by 2030 (mostly to be provided by MSMEs) and currently, 50 percent of Nigeria’s GDP is attributed to SMEs and this is expected to grow to 70 percent in 2050.

He said DBN had commenced lending operations with the provision of over N5 billion to three national micro-finance banks for onward lending to 20,000 MSMEs across every sector of the economy.