“Nigerian Businesses Frustrated By Banks”


The Managing Director, Sofan Estal Industry, a manufacturer of mimi creations hair products in Nigeria, Oliver Sossou has said that banks in Nigeria are frustrating business growth in the country.
Sossou who stated this in an interview with newsmen in Lagos last week said business people most times do not even bother to access funds released by the Federal Government in its intervention funds for SMEs due to hazzles encountered in accessing such funds.
“We are not able to get loans from the banks and what is the chance that we will be granted loans from the Bank of Industry (BOI) if we apply.
According to him, some of his friends have talked to him about the BOI “and mind you in this country, you need connections for you to get anything or benefit from government.”
On the challenges facing the marketability of his products in the country, he said Nigeria is a big market in Africa, even more than South Africa.
He said steadfastness was key to breaking into the Nigerian market even with stiff competition from  Asian countries.
On the possible effect of his products by the actions of some churches outlawing the use of hair enhancement products, he said such development would not affect his business.
“It is a combination of chemicals from petroleum and nothing more.
“Even in the northern region where the women are compelled to cover their hair as a result of the Islamic religion, we make sales there.
“In the aspect of religion, there is a way women use the hair enhancements and it looks horrible, so I advise that it should be moderate and sit neatly on them,” he said.
Speaking on the effect on the local industry by foreign enhancement manufacturers like the Brazillian weave he said such a development was no threat to the local industry.
“It was not a threat to us because only a few can afford that product, rather the threat in the market are Chinese imported hair products at a price we cannot compete.
“They are able to do this because they access funds easily at lower interest rates compared to us,” he said.