The Chairman, Heirs Holding, Mr. Tony Elumelu, says microfinance banks and small businesses are crucial to economic growth
He said efforts by the MFBs including Lift Above Poverty Organisation to enhance job creation through lending to small businesses were enhancing economic growth.
He therefore said necessary support in terms of ease of doing business, consistent policy, friendly business climate, among others, must be given to the micro lending sub-sector in order to enhance its growth.
Elumelu spoke in his keynote address at LAPO’s annual development forum held in Lagos.
The forum emphasised the need to chart a new course for the SMEs in order to enhance national development.
The forum, which had the theme “Galvanising SMEs for inclusive development” was chaired by Prof. Pat Utomi.
Elumelu, who was represented by the President/Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, Mr. Adim Jibunoh, noted that SMEs were powerful tools for job creation especially for those at the bottom of the pyramid.
He said, “The only way to reduce dependence on oil or the new area we are looking at, agriculture, is to build up an industries and diversify the economy. The process of that industrialisation can however not begin without the mobilisation of the SMEs to attain that goal.”
The Founder, LAPO, Mr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said the SMEs remained the backbone of economic development and industrialisation, saying the sector was the take-off stage of the advanced economies of the world.