By Cynthia Alo
As part of its mandate to drive advocacy and address issues impacting the advancement of electronic payments and digital financial services in Nigeria, the Committee of e-Business Industry Heads (CeBIH) has urged Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to leverage the digital ecosystems to grow their businesses.
CeBIH said this recently during a virtual webinar themed, “Leveraging Digital Ecosystems to grow SME Segments.”
Managing Director of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Adam Nuru, who was the special guest, described MSMEs as the true trigger for economic growth.
According to him, “There is potential for the growth of ecosystems as technology redesigns the agenda of businesses and creates new markets and leaders. Thus, we are experiencing a shift in the balance of power from traditional value chains,”
Also speaking, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Toki Mabogunje, in her address on ‘Understanding SMEs’ said SMEs play a significant role in Nigeria’s economy as it accounts for 48 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and 84 percent of employment opportunities.
According to her, “SMEs are instrumental in improving income distribution, promoting employment opportunities but access to bank loans remains a major constraint for SMEs”.
She urged SMEs to adopt technology to manage finance operations while calling on the government to formulate policies that will de-risk SMEs to make moderate production costs in order to make the business more attractive for investment and reduce business failure.
In his presentation on the importance of Digital Literacy for MSMEs and the need for demographic considerations when developing products, Executive Director, Fate Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi said, “It is important to consider demography such as age, literacy levels, access to connectivity, access to digitally-enabled devices, location, sector or industry when developing products,” adding that its organization has helped improve the SMEs through its Aspiring Entrepreneurship Programme (AEP) Digital.
The Co-founder of Paystack, Shola Akinlade in his keynote address said Paystack was founded in a bid to find solutions to payments having gotten a grant. He said businesses in the continent are under-tooled and underserved.