By Nume Ekeghe
The founder of CreditRegistry, Mr. Taiwo Ayedun, has stressed the importance of increased access to credit for businesses in the country in order to boost economic activities.
Ayedun, said this at a workshop organised by the, Credit Bureau Association of Nigeria (CBAN), the Conference of Western Attorney General (CWAG) and AAP, in collaboration with the Lagos Business School in Lagos, recently.
Comparing Nigeria to other developed countries, he said it was important to have a good credit reporting and scoring system, which he said would support consumer lending in the country.
Ayedun said: “The United States GDP, which is about $19 trillion, I found that mortgage and consumer spending make up 67 per cent of it and a lot of that consumer and mortgage spending is based on the credit been given by American banks.
“So if Nigeria is going to increase its GDP, it would need to be able to help banks to give more credit to Nigerians.
“Global Credit coverage around the world shows that North America – Canada and the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Ireland are 100 per cent covered, while Nigeria has only about 7.8 per cent coverage according to this survey which was done in 2017.”
On challenges hindering credit in Nigeria, he said high interest rates was a major obstacle.
Also speaking to a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria present at the workshop, he called for a decrease in interest rate which he believes would lead to increase in access to credit.
He said: “One of the things I think would help individuals and small businesses to take loans is an affordable interest rate because if you take loans at a very high interest rate it makes it difficult to pay back.
“This a major challenge that needs to be addressed and banks need to build capacity internally to be able to do consumer credit on a very large scale.”