Bank Credit and SMEs Financing in Nigeria

Precious Nkechi Obieche, Peters O. Ihejirika


This study examined the extent SMEs are funded by deposit money banks in Nigeria. This was done through extensive descriptive, graphical and empirical analysis of Bank credit to SMEs data. The study generated and analyzed Bank credit to SMEs gap. It further explored Nigeria’s “financing gap” which measures the need of external funds for the corporate sector. Bank credit to SMEs was found to be decreasing over the period covered (i.e. 1992 – 2020). Bank Loans to SMEs as percent of Total Bank Loans reached a maximum of 47.7% in 2003 from where it had continued to decline to 0.56% in 2019 ended. Loans to Small Scale Enterprises as a percentage of Total Credit to the Private sector had been on the decline from a maximum of 27.04 % in 1992 to 0 0.54% in  2019. The analyzed SMEs Credit Gap shows that by 1992, SMEs Credit Gap was N113.664 million but by 2009, the SMEs Credit Gap has grown to N4261.46 billion and N7725.51 billion in 2016. The SMEs Credit Gap as at 2019 ended stood at N7565.51 billion. For the corporate sector, the financing gap is alarming as results reveal a financing gap of N3, 176,147,942,428.47 trillion in 2019. Thus, policies and actions aimed at reversing the downward trend in credit to SMEs as well as closing the financing gap should be intensified. Deposit money banks not just Microfinance banks should be encouraged to lend more to SMEs and remove all obstacles (hidden charges that increase the interest rate) while providing more technical assistance to SMEs.

Keywords: SME Financing, Financing Gap, Bank Credit, SME contribution to GDP, Nigeria

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/12-14-04

Publication date:July 31st 2021

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