Ensure right MSMEs benefit from N1bn seed capital, experts tell LASG

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SMALL BUSINESSES
SMALL BUSINESSES

Financial and Tourism Experts have urged the Lagos State Government to ensure the N1 billion seed capital loans approved for  MSMEs operating in the hospitality sector of the state are accessible to the right businesses.

The N1 billion seed capital loan for Micro Small and  Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is an initiative of the Lagos state government.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that  Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu , in July,  said that the N1 billion seed capital would position tourism businesses as a new frontier for job creation and economic prosperity in the post-COVID-19 era.

He said the seed capital would be made available specifically to MSMEs.

The Chief Executive Officer of Arvo Finance, Mr Ayotunde Bally, told NAN on Thursday in Lagos that a lot of MSMEs in the sector operated informally, hence, the right ones needed to be selected to benefit from the scheme.

“The government should ensure the criteria for approval is reasonably  easy; currently a lot of MSMEs within this sector operate informally, so if they truly want to reach the right businesses, accessibility is important.

“Secondly, the parameters for the beneficiary selection should be clear; what metrics are used to determine eligibility? What are the loan modalities?

“To promote equitable initiatives, and for truly people-centred projects; there has to be operational transparency and clarity so the people and government can hold each other accountable,” Bally said.

A Tourism expert and  Managing Director of BIC Consultancy Services,  Mr Boniface Chizea, also advised government to give the loans to businesses that would be able to put them to productive use.

According to him, some gains will be recorded if the usual self seeking attitude is jetissioned in giving out the loans.

“Will the loans be given to those deserving of it who are able to put such loans to productive use? Or as usual, the loans will be disbursed to fronts of those who have the responsibility of administering the scheme?

“If that is allowed, it should then be obvious that this is money for the boys; expenditure down the drain!

“Tourism has the potential to give a shot in the arm of any economy; but to make the desired impact, we must be intentional about it,” Chizea said. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 13:11 GMT

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