By Kunle Adedoyin
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has created a platform for Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to access long term funds in the Nigerian capital market.
Mr Oscar Onyeama, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, stated this while unveiling the NSE Growth Board segment that allows the SMEs to list on the Exchange without much stringent requirements.
“This platform is pivotal to our efforts in catering to a segment of the economy that hitherto has been neglected and perceived as a high risk and low reward venture by most service providers especially in relation to access to capital from financial institutions.
“The traditional role of the Exchange as an enabler of capital flow from areas of surplus to deficit holds good promise for its capability to support SMEs, as access to capital is the prime challenge faced by companies that are active in the SME sector,” he said.
“Without a doubt, the SME space remains critical to the growth of the economy. According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, SMEs in Nigeria have contributed about 48 percent of the national GDP in the last five years. This segment of the economy also accounts for 96 percent of operational businesses and 84 percent of employment. With a total number of about 41.5 million enterprises, the SME segment accounts for nearly 90 percent of companies operating in the manufacturing sector and 50 percent of industrial jobs.
“In line with the Exchange’s focus and drive to deepen the Nigerian capital market and its support for Start Ups and Small and Medium Enterprises, I am pleased to unveil to you today the Nigerian Stock Exchange – Growth Board.
“The Growth Board aims to encourage companies with high growth potential to seize the opportunity of raising long term capital and promote liquidity in the trading of their shares. The board also presents an avenue for companies in their growth phase to leverage the NSEs platform and varied products and services to achieve their long term,” he said..