Business

Atiku’s $10bn MSME fund: Transparency in disbursement crucial to economic growth, says group

Atiku, economic

By Joy Obakeye

Some stakeholders in Nigeria’s socio-economic space have indicated that the adoption of a private sector payment infrastructure system will adequately capture the proposed 10 billion dollars Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, stimulus fund promised by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar to drive economic development when elected into office.

They also emphasised the need for transparency and accountability in the disbursement process to ensure that the funds are used effectively.

They disclosed this at a panel discussion hosted by Nigerian Business Communities for Atiku/Okowa 2023 recently in Lagos.

Speaking at the panel session, Iwalewa Jacobs, finance and SME expert disclosed that SMEs should have access to advisory services which can help them better manage and scale up their businesses in a dynamic and difficult business climate’

“Entrepreneurship is about solving problems and creating value, then you attract capital and customers.

“MSMEs need to build a skill set, mindset, and innovate to adequately manage capital and there must be stakeholders’ engagement to address these challenges and address funding.”

Speaking with journalists, Sam Aiboni, Deputy National Secretary, Nigerian Business Community for Atiku/Okowa 2023, explained that the event serves as a template for the Atiku/Okowa team to “better a lot of MSMEs seeing that attention is not paid to these issues at rallies and it must be addressed to help the economy grow.”

He noted that the proposed 10 billion dollar fund for MSMEs was significant to give the country the level of economic growth and development required.

“We have fundamental problems of access to capital for businesses seeing that a young man that just comes out of school cannot just go to the capital market for funds or have access to funds without lending rates that are obnoxious.”

According to a Fintech and Marketing Consultant, Ladi Ogunseye, the government must build sustainable policies such that even if there’s a change of government, the structure in place keeps the MSMEs going.

“To surmount disbursement challenges of the proposed funds and avoid diversions, a better funding model is one driven by the private sector.

On the panel were Iwalewa Jacobs, a Finance and SME Expert, Abubakar Bamai, an Agric-Consultant, Joseph Edgar, an Investment Banker, Ladi Ogunseye, a Fintech and Marketing Consultant, Kunle Ademola-Sadipe, a Real Estate expert.

The panel discussed the importance of targeting the funds to the most in need and underfunded sectors of the economy, such as women-owned businesses and businesses in underdeveloped parts of the country.

READ ALSO: PDP promises end to insecurity, pains inflicted by APC.

The panel recommended the creation of a dedicated agency or program to oversee the disbursement process to ensure that the funds are used effectively.

Recall that in September 2022, Atiku revealed his plans to revive the economy by launching a $10 billion economic stimulus fund within the first 100 days in office if he is elected in the Feb. 25 presidential polls.

He disclosed this at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Presidential Economic Agenda Forum

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