Hon. Philip Shuaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, has said that there is a pressing need for a systematic overhaul of the banking sector so that it could do more for the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the state.
Speaking in Lagos over the weekend after receiving the Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award presented to him by the Rotary Club of Mushin Metropolitan, Shuaibu said there is a need to combat the scourge of poverty by providing good water, health, education and other services to the electorate.
The Deputy Governor, who was the special guest at the occasion, lauded the immediate past president of the club, Rotarian Gregory Otsu for an accomplished tenure, noting that the club had done great service to humankind.
The honorable stressed the need for improved palliatives to cushion the sufferings of the SMEs, especially in the area of access to funds from the lenders. He described local lenders as depository houses with little emphasis on financing SMEs, a situation which he lamented has led to the dwindling of small businesses with brilliant ideas.
“Banks are collecting indirect collateral because when you need a guarantor with the amount you intend giving as loan to SMEs, then you are indirectly collecting collateral. That is not helpful to the economy. Bear in mind that the SMEs of today will become the multinationals of tomorrow”, he said.
Shuaibu said that Nigerian banks need an overhaul in such way that they would accommodate engineers, psychologists, sociologists and others with a touch of humanity, as against the present penchant to recruit “fine boys and girls” with little understanding of what business financing is all about.
“I am delighted that what began a year ago is coming to an end on a positive note. I am excited that Rotarian Otsu is handing over gracefully, and it is my prayer that the incoming president will consolidate on your achievement s and even perform better, because Rotary is about impacting lives and serving humanity”, he remarked.
The Deputy Governor expressed his feeling honored by the award presented to him by the club, adding that it is the reason he firmly believes everyone should cease from passing bucks and start working harmoniously to tackle issues around poverty, water, health, education and other prime indices.
Informing that the measure had inspired programs in Edo State, he noted that: “Our goal is to reduce poverty, The Obaseki administration is on achieving economic prosperity for Edo State, which is a consolidation of the past governor’s achievements. We are liaising with private and corporate entities to make this a reality”.