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Access to credit in Nigeria, not impressive – IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has urged Nigeria to make more credit available to businesses if it is determined to free the nation from the claws of poverty.

If that is not done, Country Manager, IFC, Eme Lore, warned that 120 million people would be poor by 2030.

Lore admitted that though a lot had been done to make credit available to businesses by public and private institutions, more work needed to be done because using all indices to analyse, Nigeria was still lagging behind.

The IMF Nigeria boss added that the nation’s average Gross Domestic Product growth rate of 2% per annum would not be enough to take many Nigerians out of poverty line. This is why Nigeria needs to do a lot to catch up with its peers in terms of credit provision.

“Access to credit/finance is a key constraint to private sector growth in Nigeria. We have seen much progress in the past 10 years. A lot has been done and a lot still needs to be done.

“I am optimistic that CRC Credit Bureau will continue to confront the challenges around access to credit. Nigeria plays important role in Africa and the country is critical in the growth of the continent,” she said.

Speaking further, the IFC Country Manager emphasized the urgent need for the government to step up efforts that would make the masses build confidence in the credit ecosystem.

She also called on the government to help Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises  (SMEs) grow and create jobs for the citizens.

Also, the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Tunde Lemo who said credit information must not only be available to the financial services sector but must be extended to other sectors of the economy.

Lemo explained that credit information was as important as credit because when entrepreneurs and owners of small scale businesses have the required information on the various levels of risks associated with credit offers, “it will be easier for them to take advantage of the credit offerings available.”

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