Unlock SME’s access to financial solutions — Solicitor tells capital market players

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A capital market solicitor, Mr Adeleke Alex-Adedipe, on Thursday in Lagos, described Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as major contributors to Nigeria’s  economic development.

Alex-Adedipe made the assertion at the 2022 Annual Business Luncheon of the Capital Market Solicitors Association (CMSA) held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja.

The event had the  theme: “Capital Market Start-Up Financing and Syndicate Funding; Ability of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to Access Capital Market”.

Alex-Adedipe, the Chairman of the event’s planning committee, delivered the keynote address.

He said that the event was CMSA’s first physical business outing post COVID-19.

According to him, the CMSA has afforded solicitors the opportunity of articulating issues around the capital market with a view to finding solutions.

He said that SMEs in Nigeria, as in many other countries, formed a crucial part of economic development.

The chairman said that a forum such as CMSA presents a platform for interrogation of issues around SMEs.

“It gives me great pleasure to look at all seated here  and those attending from different parts of the globe using our live stream.

“Since the setting up of the CMSA in 2001, the platform has presented opportunities for solicitors in the capital market space to articulate topical issues and proffer viable solutions.

“This year’s theme: “Capital Market Start-Up Financing and Syndicate Funding: Ability of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to Access the Capital Market “ is in keeping with the founding ideology of the CMSA.

“SMEs are the backbone of major developed economies as well as important contributors to employment economic and export growth.

“Nigeria is no exception. The most crucial aspect of the SMEs in Nigeria is their contributions to employment,” he said.

The solicitor quoted the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics as stating that SMEs in Nigeria contributed about 48 per cent of the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products in the last five years.

He also said that SMEs accounted for about 50 per cent of industrial jobs and nearly 90 per cent of the manufacturing sector in terms of the number of enterprises.

He, however, said that in spite of the importance of SMEs, many small businesses failed within few years of starting due to lack of adequate funding.

He said that the luncheon presented a unique opportunity for capital market players to find ways to eliminate the barriers to small businesses accessing financial solutions available in the capital market.

“These solutions will enable them to raise long-term funds required for development of the sector and, in turn, ignite the Nigeria’s socio-economic development,” he said.