The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risks and uncertainties around access to finance for the private sector due to the deteriorating economic outlook.
The LCCI president said this at a web conference themed ‘Access to international capital and funding solutions for Nigerian businesses’ on Tuesday.
She said that prior to the outbreak of the novel virus, businesses were finding it difficult to access finance through the domestic financial system due to high borrowing costs.
Citing statistics from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mabogunje noted that the total gross credit to the private sector stood at N18.9tn as of June 2020, representing about 13 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.
She added that the World Bank statistics showed that Nigeria’s 10.5 per cent domestic credit to the private sector in 2019 was one of the lowest in world.
She, however, commended the CBN for improving access to finance for businesses through policies like increase in Loan-to-Deposit ratio; and several intervention funds for different categories of business, including the MSMEs.
The LCCI president called on business owners to explore alternative funding solutions available on global as well as local space.