1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STYUDY
Nigeria is an immensely endowed country in both natural and human resources, with the population of over 140 million people who are largely engaged in the farming sector and small scale business. This sector is primarily dominated by micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) and both peasant farmers who require financial assistance to boost their business and improve their livelihood. However, lack of access to formal financial assistance has constrained their development in the country. Microfinance bank in Nigeria has no been affecting people life in the time past due to unavailability of fund at their disposal and government policy that has constrained their activities and relegate it to the background. Kudos should be given to the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor who has greatly revolutionalised the banking sector through bank consolidation and turned the community banks into microfinance banks. In the same vein, it is very difficult for a common man to receive loan from banks like UBA, First Bank, Skye Bank etc. due to lack of Collateral security but microfinance has made it possible to receive loan with little or no collateral. These microfinance banks have gone to the extent of buying tools, paying for shops and providing business capitals to enterprises. However, the problem is even with the creation of microfinance banks, what benefits has the sector derived from them over the years.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Nigeria economy has been progressing as expected, the unemployment rate is so high that it is believed that 3 out of 5 graduates are likely to be jobless in the first 5 years of their graduation, inflation is galloping as prices double almost daily, poverty rate reached a chronic state where countries in the world and general welfare is dilapidating, mortality rate is increasing across the year basically due, to poor infrastructure and social amenities. To solve these problems, there is a need to investigate which sector has the highest potential to contribute positively to the economy, and most importantly to the grassroots.
Although, theory may back enormous contributions of small and medium scale enterprises to economic development, there is need to investigate if that is the case in Nigeria. It is obvious that if the available SMEs, in Nigeria were not faced with certain problems of infrastructure, funding, raw material sourcing, foreign dumping amongst other.
It is however, in the light of the above problems that this research study is initiated to investigate the problems, the extent of their hindrance to growth of the sector and their possible solution.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this research work is to assess the contribution of micro-finance banks in the development of small and medium scale enterprises in Niger state. Specific objectives of the study are:
1. To determine the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents.
2. To determine the level of growth in the microfinance banks over time in Bida, Niger state.
3. To determine the impact of microfinance banks on the development of small and medium scale enterprises.
4. To determine the constraints to securing loans from microfinance banks.
5. To make recommendation based on research findings.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following will constitute the research question for this study.
1. Do we have enough microfinance banks in the state to cater for the existing small scale and Small Business Ventures?
2. What has been the impacts of Microfinance banks on SMES?
3. How easy is it for the organization to secure loan from the existing microfinance banks?
4. Are the microfinance banks accessible to other sectors asides small scale businesses?
1.4 FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESIS
H0: Microfinance banks do not influence small scale business profitability.
H1: Microfinance banks influence small scale business profitability.
H0: Microfinance banks do not give loan to Small and Medium Scale Businesses
H1: Microfinance banks give loan to Small and Medium Scale Businesses
H0: Microfinance banks have no impact on the rate of sales in small scale business.
H1: Microfinance banks have an impact on rate of sales in small scale business.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research work is focused on the contributions of micro finance banks to the development of SMES using Brass Micro Finance bank, Bida as a case study. However, the result obtained in this research work will be use as a benchmark for making reference to other small and medium scales business.
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