NACCIMA Reviews Government Intervention Funds

Following complaints about lapses observed in the operations of the various intervention funds floated by the Federal Government in its bid to stimulate economic growth in some sectors in the last three years, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), in collaboration with Enhancing Nigerian Advocacy for a Better Business Environment (ENABLE), held a dialogue aimed at assessing the performance and prospects of the funds. The dialogue was coordinated by Olanrewaju Oniyitan. The dialogue was held on Tuesday 31st July, 2012 at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.

The purpose of the dialogue was to create an effective forum for public-private dialogue for the private operators and other stakeholders and actors to brainstorm on the identified issues that can shape the enabling business environment and investment climate of the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government.

To address the probable lapses and further gather evidence-based data on the level of awareness, access to and impact of the intervention funds on businesses and the economy, a pre-survey research was being undertaken, with the commissioning of a firm of consultants to administer questionnaires eliciting information from business operators covering the six geo-political zones in the country, especially NACCIMA and state/city chambers of commerce members. The results of this survey showed that revealed that of the 358 respondents, 62 businesses, representing 17 per cent, attempted to access the funds, but only six per cent was able to access them.

The top three reasons for unsuccessful applications in descending order are cumbersome application process, not meeting requirements and financial constraints, which bother on collateral, interest rates and contribution. The survey report shows that 33 per cent of the respondents does not know about the funds; 17 per cent complained about the cumbersome process of accessing it; 15 per cent does not have faith on the fund; nine per cent lacks collateral while eight per cent complained about not having a specific fund for their sector”. Based on the responses, the survey recommended that funds should be channelled to sectors with high potential for productivity. More money should be allocated to existing funds while new funds are created for other sectors considered relevant such as agriculture, small and medium enterprises, manufacturing, power, education, health, entertainment, transportation and security. Contact us for a copy of the full report of the pre-dialogue survey.

The outcome expected from the dialogue session was to analyse the viability of the existing funds and a realistic review/clarification by the key stakeholders (the Central bank of Nigeria and the banks) to ensure ease of accessibility by real sector operators it was created to assist and serve. The dialogue was a huge success with over 200 attendees.

       

 

During the dialogue, NACCIMA Business Women Group (NAWORG), advocated a solely women’s Bank in Nigeria, due to difficulties experienced by women in accessing loan facilities. The Chairperson, NAWORG, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, stated this during the Bi-annual national dialogue on intervention funds, on the theme“Experiences of Women Entrepreneurs with regards to accessing the various intervention funds”, adding that It has been seen working in other parts of the world, and she is definitely sure it will work outstandingly well in Nigeria.

“The Nigeria government should make conscious effort at moving women entrepreneurs through financial empowerment to enable them move on from the informal sector of the economy to the formal sector and start contributing to the GDP of the Nigeria economy” she said.

Following the dialogue some of the participants of the dialogue were able to access funds from the Bank of Industry (BOI). In addition, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with its plan to boost businesses owned and managed by women, have set aside N100billion intervention fund for women enterprises. The Federal Government also launched the YouWin 2 Business Plan competition for Women only. This is a right move in empowering women in Nigeria.






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