By Francis Akinnodi
The General Manager of the Ondo State Mirco Credit Agency (OSMA), Mr Samuel Ogunlade, has called on relevant government agencies to assist in the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state and Nigeria in general.
Ogunlade who gave the advice while speaking with The Hope in Akure at the weekend, said government through the agency would continue to assist the SMEs by given out soft loans in line with its mandate.
He said the agency is positioned to provide capital for small businesses in the state to thrive.
“If you look at the state of businesses now, COVID-19 has affected a lot of them. But what we are doing is to provide small capital for businesses to come back; the pandemic had really affected the state and Nigeria economically.
“A lot of programmes are in the pipeline to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on businesses where loans would be provided. Also, at the agency’s level we try to counsel the business owners to ensure they do well at this time.”
He urged business owners to pay back their loans so that others can benefit as government is committed to enhance business friendly environment in the state.
SMEs, Ogunlade pointed out, were recognised globally as instruments for economic growth, development and poverty reduction and provide employment to a large number of citizens in a given economy.
As such, he said, there was need for a well-planned intervention to raise the technological skills of the SMEs in a way that those involved in agro production and development could produce high produce for export through the use of affordable and new technologies.
“It’s timely as the Nigerian economy had been overstretched through dependence on oil, hence the need for diversification.”