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Clear SMEs debts within 14 days, NICA urges creditors

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The National Institute of Credit Administration has urged creditors to ensure that all payments are made to suppliers and other stakeholders, including small and medium enterprises, they owe between sevenando 14 days.

 NICA, in a statement, said the move was part of its efforts to commence a campaign to encourage creditors to make timely repayments of debts.

The NICA is Nigeria’s statutory body for the control, supervision, and regulation of the credit management profession.

The Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of NICA, Prof. Chris Onalo, noted that the campaign tagged ‘National Pay Your Bill Month’, aimed to help creditors to do things right.

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“The national campaign will create awareness that if you are indebted to anybody, be it business indebtedness or individual indebtedness within that month, you should repay. The institute will emphasise the need for you to appeal to your conscience to pay what you owe the next person, even if you can’t pay all, pay something. That is part of the awareness creation,” Onalo declared.

He added that the institute was strongly in support of SMEs, noting that NICA would create awareness among the multinationals, blue chip, conglomerate companies, and financial institutions among others, “that it is immoral for any of these high profile business organisations to delay payment of the invoice of the SMEs”.

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“If SMEs supply something, within seven days to 14 days, you should be able to pay the invoice. Don’t subject them to your internal policies that you cannot pay them until after 30 days.

“You know, these people borrowed money to execute the order that you gave to them, and you are now saying you will pay them after one month; that is not fair. So, we need to have a national consensus,” he remarked.

According to Onalo, there is a need for a regulation where the small and medium-scale enterprises, which form the bulk of the economy, should have the invoice presented and get paid within seven days.

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He said that the move would enable the SMEs to utilise the money for more businesses and increase revenue.

“That is part of the awareness, we plan to make sure that people begin to see credit economy as the best system that stimulates economic wide growth involving all sectors of the economy,” Onalo asserted.

Punch

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