The Chairman of the Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), Mrs. Elizabeth Ngozi Ehigiamusoe, has stated that the Nigerian leasing industry grew by 23 per cent in 2022 and recorded N3.18 trillion transactions in 2022 against N2.58 trillion in 2021.
Ehigiamusoe also made a case for the inclusion of the leasing industry in federal government’s intervention funds programmes and the need for the industry to gain access to pension fund to ameliorate the effects of short term funding, which has been hindering leasing services in the country.
She expressed these views during the recently concluded 21st National Lease Conference of ELAN with the theme, “Propelling Economic Recovery and Growth: The Leasing Initiative,” held in Lagos.
In his goodwill message to the conference, the Chairman/CEO of Equipment Leasing Registration Authority (ELRA), Mr. Saidu Njidda, said that “there is no gainsaying in the fact that leasing, if properly harnessed, will propel economic growth and help chart a cause that will benefit and reshape the economy.”
Njidda added: “I am particularly elated by the fact that this conference brings together all the stakeholders to see to the growth of the nation’s economy through leasing which is apt and in tandem with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration. There is no gainsaying in the fact that leasing, if properly harnessed, will propel economic growth and help chart a cause that will benefit and reshape the economy.”
In her welcome address, Ehigiamuose explained that the theme was informed by the need to highlight the beauty of leasing as a creative financing alternative to enhance productive capacity, create wealth and sustain economic development.
She said: “Today, the impact of leasing is pronounced in all sectors of the economy, enhancing capital formation, generating employment and creating wealth. Outstanding leases in Nigeria in 2022 amounted to N3.18.trn as against N2.58trn in 2021 representing 23.2 per cent growth.
“In the last decade, leasing contribution to capital formation in the economy is in excess of N16.3 trillion. Leasing is becoming more relevant in our prevailing economic situation, especially to Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) given the high cost of assets.”
The chairman of ELAN said that the annual national lease conference remained the biggest gathering of stakeholders in the Nigerian leasing industry, which is providing a major platform for engagement on pertinent issues affecting the development of the leasing industry and economy, exploring opportunities and promoting business networking.
Ehigiamusoe also used the conference to highlight the need to address the perennial issue of funding in the leasing industry.
According to her, “money is the raw material for leasing and it is important to have an appropriate funding mechanism to finance lease transactions. The prevalence of short-term funding sources, which are usually expensive, limits the capacity of lessors to finance leases. This issue has been aggravated by the devaluation of the Naira, which increases the cost of assets, and the waning appetite of banks to lend. “We continue to engage financiers on this issue as we continue to appeal to the government to include leasing in the various intervention funds for the development of targeted sectors of the economy. Also, the leasing industry should be given access to pension funds, which is one of the major sources of funds for leasing globally because of its long-term nature.”