The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has warned that it will be difficult to free Nigeria from the claws of poverty if access to credit is not made available to businesses. This is even as the corporation warned that 120 million people would be poor by 2030 if nothing is done in that regards.
According to the Country Manager, IFC, Eme Essien Lore, in her a keynote address titled “Evolving a New Lending Model for the Economic Development of Nigeria”, she posited 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.
She added that the nation’s average Gross Domestic Product, GDP 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 the CRC Credit Bureau will continue to confront the challenges around access to credit. Nigeria plays an important role in Africa and the country is critical in the growth of the continent,” she said.
Speaking further, the IFC Country Manager emphasised 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.
Lore believed leveraging digital concepts and processes would be critical to deepening the credit industry and financial inclusion in the country, thereby transforming the Nigerian socio-economic space.