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Bank Name: FCMB Bank
Account Name: SEDTECH HUBLET INTL

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Account number: 7749601025

Bank Name: Access Bank
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Account number: 0107807602


AN APPRAISAL OF COMMERCIAL BANKS FINANCING OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE BUSINESS


CHAPTER ONE

1.1     HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The production of goods and services in the most efficient manner has continued to be the only viable and reliable option for development, growth and survival of any economy. The development of small scale enterprises (SME’s) is therefore an essential element of growth in Nigeria economy. SMEs not only contribute local capital formation and achieve high level productivity. It was however, observed that the major gap in Nigeria’s industrial development process in the past years was of the death of long-term finance of Small Scale Industries (SMI).

The commercial banks play a vital role in the financing of small scale business in Nigeria. They are the most common financial institution in Nigeria and happen to be the very first point of call for an entrepreneur who may be seeking for funds. However, the potential entrepreneur has been left to look for other means of financing his/her business because of the unfavorable macroeconomic environment has been identified as one of the major constraints which most times encourage financial institutions to be risk-averse in funding small and medium scale business.

But what efforts have been made by the apex regulatory body of the banking system, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as the commercial banks in achieving financing needs of the SMEs?

Much like the industrial policy itself, bank credits to industries in Nigeria has evolved through phases, reflecting the needs of the industrial sector as nurtured by each era of the evolving industrial policy. There have been various efforts put into the design and creation of funding schemes targeted at SMEs since the adoption of reliance on SMEs in the focus of the newly evolved national industrial policy, these included CBN credit guidelines allocating a stipulated minimum of credit to the preferred sectors including the SME. For instance in 1979/1980 fiscal years, the minimum stipulated percentage was 10% of total credit to indigenous borrowers, which constituted the SME. It was raised to 16 & 20 of total loans and advances in 1980 and 1989 respectively.

It is high time commercial banks rise up to their duty and encourages SME’s to enable growth and development of the economy and to bring about hope for new graduates and individuals who have great business ideas but without finance and job opportunities on hand to save earnings on their own.

1.2     STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

The banking industry is the major source of funds and its contribution to the success of SMEs through the provision of loan and advances could be packaged in any of the following ways:

  • Overdraft facilities
  • Medium term finance
  • Long term finance
  • Lease finance
  • Contingent liability financing
  • Import and export finance.

Allegations about that the banks’ lending to SMEs have been minimal and non sustaining. This is in spite of CBN direct involvement in loan policy guidelines to commercial banks. While finance is obviously not the only problem militating against the development of the SME sector, it is certainly the most formidable. Like any other investment in the real sector of the economy, investment in SMEs is relatively bulky because of the need for fixed assets such as land, civil works, buildings, machinery and equipment and movable assets. Moreover, empirical studies have shown that the incidence of the extra outlays required to compensate for deficiencies in the supply of the basic utilities is relatively heavier on SMEs than large enterprises.

However, the knowledge of this great need in the economy is still very much needful. Commercial banks can really make a huge impact on the economy by being more supportive than ever. Could it be lack of collateral security, standard business plan, good business idea, expert managerial skill that has hindered the commercial banks from extending finance to SMEs?

It is against this background that the research problem is to review commercial banks activities in financing small and medium scale business.

1.3     STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS

Hypothesis acts as a beacon that lights the pathway of every serious research. In this study our hypotheses presented in the null form are as follows:

Ho1:  Commercial Banks credit to SMEs are negatively related to the availability of collateral security.

Ho2:  Banks loan procedure and requirements are negatively related to SMEs access to loans.

Ho3:  Awareness and information are negatively related to the SMEs access to bank loans.

1.4     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The objective of this study is to identify the challenges faced by commercial banks in financing small and medium scale business (SMEs) and how these problems can be solved. The study also intends to discover the factors that have militated against SMEs from accessing loans and finance from commercial banks.

1.5     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  • Is the requirement of collateral security by commercial banks reducing the accessibility of SME’s from approaching them?
  • Are there factors that militate against banks credit to SMEs?
  • Are there efforts made by commercial banks to provide awareness and information about how SMEs can finance their business?
  • What are the factors that hinder SMEs from accessing commercial banks?

1.6     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study undertake an appraisal of commercial bank’s role in financing of small business and also to create the required awareness among small business owners of what are needed to be able to secure the necessary fund.

There is no doubt that the result of the research will be useful to all small business owners in Nigeria by equipping them with survival strategies in a period of economic depression.

This study will also be useful to other developing countries potential investors and other individuals like young graduates wishing to establish small business firm will also find this study useful.

Above all, policy makers will find the study useful to be able to assist small business owners. By the end of this study, the information gap which is ascertained as the cause of financial problem would have been bridged or closed or reduced to the barest minimum.

1.7       THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study will cover some selected small scale businesses in Benin-City which will include manufacturing services, fabrication, woodworks, sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.

However, it is necessary to re-emphasize that besides commercial banks small business can obtain short or long term finance from different other sources, some of which are institutions.

Nevertheless, to define properly the line between the subject matter of the study and those other sources of finance if is hereby stated that this research effort has been confined to the activities of commercial bank, in financing of small-scale business.

1.8       LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

No study is perfect in a study of this nature. There are set backs that militate against a comprehensive compilation of facts and figure. This research work is not an exception, I knowledge the methodological imperfection of the work as a result of these major limitations:

  • This study has been affected by the unwillingness of the business owners and the bank to supply the needed information.
  • This study has been affected by time constraint as every attempt is made to conclude it within the required time.
  • The response rate, the attitudes and nature of the respondents is also a major limitation to the study.
  • The accuracy of the information supplied also affects the study.
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Author: SPROJECT NG