The financing gap for Nigeria’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has reached $158.1 billion, according to The Guardian Nigeria newspaper.

Access to capital is one of the most significant barriers to MSMEs' growth, said Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) Director-General Olawale Fasanya.

“MSMEs in Nigeria are suffering and some of the factors impacting their growth are beyond us. Many banks do not want to give them attention,” he stated.

About 99% of the businesses in Nigeria are at the micro level, Fasanya said, adding they need maximum support to scale up.

On the other hand, Fidelity Bank CEO Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said that support for MSME financing is now critical for the country’s long-term growth trajectory.

MSMEs contribute 48% to the national GDP and are responsible for 84% of employment, The Punch newspaper reported, citing the Nigeria SME survey.

According to the SMEDAN report, the number of MSMEs has declined by nearly two million between 2017 and 2021.

(Editing by Cleofe Maceda;