A cross-section of entrepreneurs in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Wednesday called for more support for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in order to boost the Nigerian economy.
They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
The entrepreneurs, Mr Yemi Osanyin, Mrs Motunrayo Aroloye, Mrs Damilola Busari and Mr Mayowa Olayinka, all expressed optimism on the economic opportunities that 2019 presents inspite of the upcoming general elections.
Osanyin, who commended the Federal Government for its interventions in SMEs, advocated for more initiatives in 2019.
“I hope that government will be able to support SMEs owners because they are the drivers of the economy.
“Some entrepreneurs benefited from the Federal Government through the provision of facilities in Ibadan.
“We want more of that to go round nationwide because the government cannot employ everybody, but if there is encouragement like this, it will help to boost the economy,’’ he said.
Osanyin, however, enjoined state governments to take a cue from what the Federal Government was doing to improve the economy rather than depend solely on monthly allocation.
Aroloye, on his part, advocated that there should be more economic opportunities for people at the grassroots so as to improve their livelihoods.
“Government should evolve policies that will help the poor, the illiterate and unemployed youths to make life better.
“There should be more cash flow and more business opportunities as well as accessibility to loans,” Aroloye said.
Busari, however, said she would intensify efforts to maximise the available opportunities as well as make more gains in 2019.
“We know that in the election year, business suffers some setbacks because of the uncertainty attached to elections, but I intend to make the very best of the situation.
“Government should work at improving on the existing economic policies and ensure implementation,’’ she added.
Also speaking, Olayinka stated that the government should further help entrepreneurs in accessing loans at a reduced interest rate.
“Loans at single digit interest rate will go a long way in helping entrepreneurs pay back on time.
“Risks attached to entrepreneurship is enormous in itself, with many start-up businesses collapsing after being overwhelmed by challenges.
“We are calling on the government to come to our aid by providing infrastructure and making funds available,” Olayinka said.