The National Assembly has given its commitment to passing two Bills in April that will guarantee easy access to credit facilities by Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSE).
Dr Jumoke Oduwole, the Coordinator of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja when she paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Oduwole said that the National Assembly has promised PEBEC that it would pass into law before April ending, the “National Collateral Registry Bill’’ and the “Credit Bureau Services Bill’’.
She said when the two bills become laws, MSME with good credit history would have access to loan with low interest rate and they could use their registered movable assets like cars as collateral.
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Oduwole said that there were 11 bills pending before the National Assembly that would aid the ease of doing business but they were pushing for the two because of their positive impact on access to credit by MSME.
“Access to credit is one of the priority areas we are working on this year and we are pushing those two particular bills.
“We believe that the bills will impact access to credit especially by MSME in Nigeria and we are working actively with them to make sure that they are passed before the end of April,’’ she said.
Oduwole said many banks had indicated interest to support the council.
She, therefore, encouraged the MSME to use Collateral Registry and Credit Bureau for their lending decisions.
Oduwole recalled that PEBEC was inaugurated in July, 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the constraints and bottlenecks to doing business in the country.
She said that the Secretariat which started operations in October 2016 had achieved a lot in priority areas such as entry and exit of goods, ports reform, access to credit and easy visa regime among others.
Specifically, Oduwole said that the council had facilitated the 48-hour visa processing and Visa on Arrival (VOA) by the Nigeria Immigration Service.
She said PEBES had also ensured simple and single arrival and departure forms for visitors and Nigerians to fill when travelling out and returning into the country.
The coordinator added that Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria was working to improve the ambience in Abuja and Lagos International Airports and fixing the dirty toilets, broken down escalators and cooling system.
She said with the efforts of PEBES, e-filing of taxes and payments could now be done easily on the Federal Inland Revenue Service ITAS e-filing system.
She also noted that with the efforts of PEBES, the need for lawyers in order to register new businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was now optional
The coordinator explained that the council had facilitated registering a business from start to finish without having to visit CAC.
Responding, the minister who is a member of the council thanked the coordinator for the visit.
Mohammed said that Nigeria could achieve the vision of becoming one of the global best places to do business.
“ Georgia was like Nigeria about a few years ago, they ranked160 but today they are number five.
All we need is the political will on the part of government to make things happen,’’ he said.
The minister urged the coordinator to place emphasis on advocacy and keeping Nigerians informed of the activities and achievements of the council.
In the video below, a man shed tears over the state of Nigeria economy.