Nigeria's top regulators, experts to converge for SUPERNEWS SMEs conference June 13

Director General of SMEDAN, Mr. Charles Odii

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other key stakeholders have confirmed their participation in the highly anticipated SUPERNEWS SMEs Conference, set to take place on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at the Radisson Hotel, GRA Ikeja, Lagos.

The conference, themed "Bringing SMEs into the Financial Services Network via Fintech," aims to address the challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in integrating into the financial services sector through the use of financial technology (fintech). 

The event will be declared open by the Director General of SMEDAN, Mr. Charles Odii, while the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Dr. Aminu Maida, will chair the conference.

Renowned economist and financial expert Dr. Biodun Adedipe, Managing Director/CEO of Biodun Adedipe & Associate Ltd., will deliver the keynote speech at the conference. 

The event promises to delve into the day-to-day operational challenges faced by SMEs in Nigeria, providing a platform for regulators, experts, and stakeholders from the financial services and ICT sectors to share insights and solutions.

The conference is expected to attract a diverse range of attendees, including small business owners, regulators, and experts from various fields. It presents an opportunity for SMEs to engage with key stakeholders, learn from their experiences, and gain valuable insights into the role of fintech in enhancing their operations and competitiveness in the Nigerian market. 

The conference will also feature a panel session which would be handled by erudite scholars, including the chairman, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Yeye Modupe Dada; Managing Director/CEO, Sunu Assurances Plc, Mr. Sam Ogbodu, Managing Director/CEO of APT Securities and Funds Limited, Mr. Kasimu Garba Kurfi and Head, Financial Institutions Ratings at Agusto & Co., Mr. Ayokunle Olubunmi.

The Special Guests of Honour for the conference include the Director General of SMEDAN, Mr. Charles Odii; Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr. Emomotimi Agama and the Commissioner for Insurance/CEO, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Olusegun Ayo Omosehin.

The Publisher of SUPERNEWS Nigeria, Ngozi Onyeakusi, in a statement in Lagos said the choice of the theme of the Conference was borne out of the quest to improve the business climate for SMEs in Nigeria by leveraging on technology in terms of accessing financial services.

She said it's unfortunate that SMEs that form the bedrock of every economy are plagued by a lot of challenges, especially inadequate access to finance. Indeed, reports have shown that the challenge of SMEs in accessing funds could be traced to inadequate access to financial institutions and education, skills, experience of owners/managers, high interest rates, gender discrimination, among others. 

It therefore becomes imperative to leverage on technology to ensure their sustainability, productivity and profitability.

The conference, she said, will, among others, examine the key challenges faced by SMEs in Nigeria and provide practical solutions to help overcome them.

It will equally explore the benefits of fintech for small businesses, including how it can help them overcome financial challenges and drive growth through technology-driven solutions.

She equally emphasised that the confab is a learning opportunity designed to enhance awareness, deepen understanding of the participants on how SMEs can grow and sustain their businesses by embracing various financial services options including banking, capital market, pension and insurance.
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