THE ROLE OF COMMERCIAL BANKS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF FIRST BANK NIGERIA
The critical causes on why financing small and medium scale industries by commercial banks in Nigeria have not been very effective were evaluated. Not only are the SMEs starved with financial back-up, they are also faced with other external problems such as high interest rates, inconsistency in government industrial policies, lack of infrastructural facilities and internally; poor management practices, high rate of business failure, poor accounting standards, shortage of skilled manpower and financial indiscipline.
In view of these numerous problems, this research work was conducted so as to come out with solutions as this will pave way for banks to have more confidence in financing these SMEs efficiently and effectively as against hitherto , their stringent lending policies and the risk averse behavior of funding. This has become necessary as it is a well known fact that the survival, growth and development of SMEs of any country depend largely on funding with other
factors put in place.
In the light of the findings in this research work, some recommendations and suggestions were made to the government, commercial banks and the small and medium scale entrepreneurs themselves which if implemented will not only sustain the survival, growth and development of this sector, it will also provide employment opportunities and improve the economic situation of Nigeria.
1.1 GENERAL OVERVIEW
For both developing and developed countries, small and medium scale firms play important roles in the process of industrialization and economic growth. Apart from increasing per capita income and output, SMEs create employment opportunities, enhance regional economic balance through industrial dispersal and generally promote effective resources utilization considered critical to engineering economic and growth.
However, the seminal role played by SMEs not with standing its development is everywhere constrained by inadequate funding and poor management. The unfavourable macro economic environment has also been identified as one of the major constraints which most times encourage financial institutions which most times encourage financial institutions to be risk-averse in funding small and medium scale businesses.
The manufacturing sector (Including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) is acknowledged to have huge potential for employment generation and wealth creation in any economy, yet in Nigeria, the sector has stagnated and remains relatively small in terms of its contribution to GDP or to gainful employment. Activity mix in the sector is also quite limited dominated by import dependent processes and factors. Although there is no reliable data, imprecise indicators show that capacity utilization in the sector has improved perceptibly in the period since 1999, but the sector is still faced with a number of constraints with lack of credit availability as the principal constraint. Credit is the largest element of risk in the books of most banks and failures in the management of credit risk, by weakening individual banks and in some cases, the banking system as a whole, have contributed to many episodes of financial instability. A greater understanding of the nature of credit risk, leading to improved measurement and international financial system vis-a-vis the small and medium enterprises in the long run.
Generally, the stage of development and, thus the efficiency of the system varies among countries and changes over time in the same country. The more developed and sophisticated financial systems tend to be associated with the nature economies, while underdeveloped financial systems feature in developing economies. As a process, the financial system adjusts to changes in the real economy just as the economy responds to developments in the financial sector. All over the world, size had become an important ingredient for success, the banking sector included.
In Nigeria every known regime recognizes the importance of promoting SMEs as the basis of economic growth. As a result, several micro-lending institutions were established to enhance the development of SMEs. Such micro credit institutions include the Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry
(NBCI), National Economic Reconstruction Fund (Nerfund), the people’s Bank of
Nigeria (PBN), the community Banks (CB) and the Nigerian Export and Import
Bank (NEXIM), and the Liberalization of the banking Sector.
This study attempts to find out how Commercial Banks finance small and medium scale Enterprises taking First bank of Nigeria Plc as a case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
One of the main obligations of commercial Banks in Nigeria and else where in the maximum contribution to the economic development of the nation. Others are maximum profitability owned to the shareholders and maximum liquidity owned to the depositors.
This research work will concentrate on the maximum contribution to the economic development of the nation, i.e. through financing SMEs by commercial Banks. The analysis of the research problem will thus pose some questions like.
Do commercial Banks finance small and medium scale enterprises
adequately, if not what are the limitations.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Since the importance of SMEs forwards the development of any country’s economy, as already discussed in chapter one cannot be overemphasized, this write-up is aimed at achieving the following objectives:
- To highlight the different sources of finance available to small and medium scale industries in Nigeria.
- To examine the role of Commercial Banks in satisfying the financial needs of SMEs in Nigeria taking First bank of Nigeria Plc as a case study.
- To improve the financial assistance to the entrepreneurs by commercial Banks.
1.4 FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESIS
H1: That financing small and medium scale Enterprise by Commercial Banks has been a failure.
H2: That obtaining financial assistance by small and medium scale Enterprises from Commercial Banks is very difficult and that most of the assistance is obtained through savings and borrowing from other sources.
1.5 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
In the modern times, industrial production requires the procurement of equipment, machineries and other inputs. The capital required in procuring the requirements in limited in supply and very few industrialists have access to it considering the type of collateral security required by the banks which must be fulfilled before granting loans.
Since Commercial Banks act as intermediaries between surplus and deficit or as a bridge between scattered pockets of savers and the business community desirous of loans for investment, at the end of this research work the following will be attained;
- SMEs industrialist will be able to know some sources of finance and choose amongst them the best.