The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hadjia Aisha Abubakar, on Thursday canvassed the need for urgent measures to address the low level of financial literacy among Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises owners in the country.
She said that doing so would impact positively on the MSMEs’ sub-sector’s productivity, profitability and contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Abubakar, who proffered this panacea in Abuja at the FATE Foundation 4th Policy Dialogue Series on Entrepreneurship, noted that if left unchecked, the poor level of financial literacy among small business owners could undermine current efforts to boost the overall economy.
The event had as its theme, ‘Building sustainable businesses: The case for deepening financial literacy’.
Noting that the MSMEs sub-sector remains the engine of economic growth for the country, the minister pointed out that its potential for the nation’s economy was being undermined by the high level of financial illiteracy of most of the operators.
The minister explained: “Nigeria is blessed with a strong entrepreneurial culture and can rightly be referred to as one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurship hubs.
“Despite the inherent benefits in this large pool of MSMEs, their viability and growth are continually threatened by a number of factors that have a strong correlation with capacity limitation in general and poor financial literacy in particular.
“Government’s efforts at unlocking access for MSMEs through strategic institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Bank of Industry and other development finance institutions have not achieved the desired impact as the MSMEs have, according to development experts, consistently failed to provide financial information that is required to evaluate their investment requests”, Abubakar stressed.