Amid tough macroeconomic environment
With 21 million Nigerian unemployed
The Nigerian Associations of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the umbrella body for the organized private sector in Nigeria, says most of the loans and grants approved by the Federal Government and its agencies for entrepreneurs for the improvement of the businesses usually end up in the pockets of those who had no business establishments, Saratu Aliyu, the NACCIMA national president said.
Aliyu, speaking in Ondo State at a dinner organised by the Ondo State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OSCCIMA) for her and the national executives in commemoration of her visit to the state, said several impostors manoeuvred their way and accessed the credit facilities from the government without any traces of suspicion.
She implored government at all levels to put in place machinery that would ensure proper disbursement of credit facilities set aside for entrepreneurs.
As a result, businesses continue to face a dire operating environment with access to funds their major challenge. The consequence of this is the rising unemployment, which rose to 33.3 percent as of Q4 of 2020.
A recent report by Bode Agusto said at least 21 million Nigerians, especially youths, are unemployed. And that Nigeria’s macroeconomic environment would remain tough despite reports that the country had exited its second recession in five years.
The NACCIMA president said: “We at NACCIMA advise the Federal Government and other agencies to put in place the machinery that would ensure the loans and grants prepared for small scale industries do not go to the wrong hands.”
She said, “when we learn there is a loan available to small scale industries, before we know what’s happening, all the money would have been accessed and disbursed; and our members who benefit would be few. And we will begin to wonder who are the people who accessed the funds.”
According to her, the loans set aside for entrepreneurs, in most cases, are accessed by people who have nothing to do with business; and they divert the money to buying new cars, marrying additional wives, while the real people who need the money would not get it.
She called for a water-tight measure to be put in place by the authorities in charge of disbursement of the loans, so as to reduce the rate of loan diversion. She narrated that those who get the loans and grants often fill out the forms and submit for approval and payment of the loans”.
Olakunle Module, president of OSCCIMA, described the NACCIMA national president’s visit with the national executive as an encouragement for more entrepreneurs, small scale and large-scale, to join the association for concerted efforts to improve their businesses.
Module said the OSCCIMA chapter would soon be organising a trade fair to showcase products and produce from member industries.