DELIVERING SUPPORT FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN NIGERIA: A CASE FOR UNBUNDLING OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
By Uwem Essia
This paper set out to examine the major constraints to effective delivery of support for enterprises in Nigeria, and identify key reforms required in the banking system to promote indigenous enterprises. Banks are identified as the major provider of finance and other support services to enterprises. But the paper argues that money deposit banks in Nigeria are generally incapacitated by high transactions cost, high cost of obtaining seed capital, and inadequate institutional support from the Central Bank. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is currently preoccupied with macroeconomic stabilization, while its development roles are largely ignored, and it is difficult for private banks to source long-term seed capital, independently, in a fiscally centralized economy; where the microeconomic fundamentals have remained weak, inflow of foreign capital is low and uncertain, and the federal government prefers to reduce its active involvement in the real sector without relinquishing its dominance in the sharing of revenue from the Federation Account. The paper recommends therefore that the current CBN be unbundled into three core development finance institutions, namely; a central monetary regulator, a set of (reserve) bankers/government banks, and a national investment facilitating/market making institution. Unbundling the CBN along such specialised lines will promote efficiency and ensure that macroeconomic policies have the appropriate microeconomic foundations.
Keywords: Micro finance, Fiscal Centralization, Central Banks, Unbundling. Download