NICA canvasses credit access for students, artisans, others

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By Taiwo Osho

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Nigeria’s statutory body for the control, supervision, and regulation of the credit management profession, the National Institute of Credit Administration, advocates an economy that promotes credit access and good repayment culture.

It said in a statement by the Chief Executive Officer of NICA, Prof. Chris Onalo, the institute said a country that promotes a viable consumer credit system enables individuals to buy goods, access services on credit and pay later.

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A developed credit system reduces cash transactions by enabling individuals to borrow to finance exigencies and other cogent projects, thereby, helping to stimulate domestic production and foster economic growth.

The statement said, “Stakeholders in consumer credit services administration include the informal sector, the low income earners, artisans, SMEs, associations under the agriculture sector, cooperative societies, association of importers and exporters, association of market women, supervisory workers, middle class managers and their families, students in tertiary institutions, and other critical stakeholders.

“These people form the bulk of the workforce in the country, but oftentimes, lack access to funds to achieve their dreams. With student loans, a Nigerian can have the credit to finance his education, and start paying back when he is qualified and working; exporters and importers can expand their trade and become relevant players in the international market; farmers can access the funds to increase their production from small scale farming to mechanized farming; traders can also get funds for expansion among others.

“These people need to enjoy the benefits of credit, and feel more of the impact of the economic development agenda of the government. These groups form the resilience of the economy because they must naturally provide for their livings. They have continued to make significantly contributions to the economies of developed countries because the governments recognize the players in this sector, and their contribution to the GDP outweighs even the big businesses.”

NICA noted that hese credits are given out by the lending institutions whose jobs are to keep depositors’ funds and make credit available to the public for economic development.

The credits can also be provided by the government, through a well-regulated programme.

According to reports, it said, a large proportion of the country’s workforce are the small and medium-sized enterprises, because paid employment in the formal sector cannot employ all the youths.

These SMEs need adequate support to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

By giving the right support for expansion in this sector, there will be increased economic activities and unemployment will be reduced.

 

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