Title Page
Approval Page
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1       Background of the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Objectives of the Study
1.4       Research Questions
1.5       Research Hypotheses
1.6       Scope of the Study
1.7       Significance of the Study References

Chapter Two: Review of Related Literature

2.1.      Theoretical Framework
2.1.1    Overview of the Role of the Banking Industry
2.1.2    Theoretical Basis for Banking Industry Consolidation
2.1.3    Theoretical Rationale for Banking System Consolidation
2.1.4    Strategies for Banking Sector Consolidation
2.1.5    Issues and Challenges Associated with Bank Consolidation
2.1.6    Post-Consolidation Challenges and Issues
2.2       Empirical Review
2.2.1    Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria: A Brief Review
2.2.2    Problems of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises
2.2.3    Financing Options for Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria
2.2.4    Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and Poverty
2.2.5    Small and Medium Enterprises and Economic Growth
2.2.6    Small Business Lending and SMEs
2.2.7    Mergers and Acquisition and Small Scales Business Lending
2.2.8    Determinants of Mergers and Acquisitions and SMEs Lending
2.2.9    Relationship Lending and Financing of SMEs
2.2.10  History of Banking Sector Reforms in Nigeria
2.3       Summary of Review References

Chapter Three: Research Methodology
3.1.      Research Design
3.2       Nature and Sources of Data
3.3       Model Specification
3.4       Explanatory Variables
3.4.1    Independent Variable
3.4.2    Dependent Variables
3.4.3    Control Variables
3.5       Techniques of Analysis References

Chapter Four: Presentation of Data and Analysis of Result
4.1       Presentation and Analysis of Data
4.2       Test of Hypotheses
4.2.1    Test of Hypothesis One
4.2.1    Test of Hypothesis Two
4.2.1    Test of Hypothesis Three
4.3       Implications of Results References

Chapter Five: Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1.      Summary of Findings
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendations
5.4       Contribution to Further Studies References
Appendix Assets Base of Registered SMEs in Nigeria

The central tenet of banking sector consolidation was to develop a strong, reliable and diversified banking sector that is capable of playing effective developmental roles in the economy, such as funding of small and medium scale enterprises and becoming a competent and competitive player in the African regional and global financial system. In essence, the reform was expected to create big banks by increasing bank capital base through the capital market and/or mergers and acquisitions. The bank consolidation in Nigeria has generated raging debates on different frontiers such as; the effect of the consolidation on the financial crisis; the desirability of universal banking; and on whether more capital could translate to banking system stability among others. One area that has received little or no attention among scholars and policy makers is the effect of the consolidation on the lending and performance of small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. Specifically, SMEs are generally perceived as a catalyst for economic and development, given that the economy draws its strength from strong internal dynamics rooted in its large population, resilient SMEs, large and vibrant informal sector. A priori, the emergence of bigger banks is expected to translate into more lending to SMEs. However, some scholars have argued that as small banks transformed to become bigger banks, they tend to lose their existing bonding relationship with smaller customers such as SMEs. They supported this postulation by arguing that bigger banks will have strong preference for high profile investment with higher returns, while displaying strong bias against credits to SMEs. While each of these groups has propounded theories to support their positions, empirical study that reconciles these theories with reality is non-extent. It was against this background that the main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of pre and post bank consolidation on the performance of SMEs in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study therefore were to examine the impact of bank consolidation on number of registered SMEs, growth and access to fund for SMEs in Nigeria. This study adopted the ex-post facto design and time series data from 1991-2012 (22years) for pre and post consolidation era were collated from Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission database, Central Bank of Nigeria Statistical Bulletin and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria database. The Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression was used to estimate the three hypotheses formulated for the study. The result emanating from this study indicates that Bank consolidation had positive and non-significant impact on number of registered SMEs in pre consolidation era in Nigeria while it was found to have positive and significant impact on survival of SMEs in post consolidation era in Nigeria. Also Bank Consolidation had positive and significant impact on growth of SMEs in both pre and post consolidation banking era in Nigeria and lastly Bank consolidation have negative and non-significant impact on bank lending to SMEs in pre consolidation banking era in Nigeria but was positive and non-significant on banking lending to SMEs in post consolidation banking era in Nigeria. The study, thus, concludes that the consolidation exercise in 2005 was a welcome development aim at enhancing the growth of SMEs. We therefore, recommend among others that government should make policies that will strengthen and boost access to funds for small and medium scale enterprises. This will ensure continual survival and growth of SMEs which have been adjoined as the engine room for economic growth and development of nations.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are argued to be an instrument of economic growth and development. Thus, Fatai (2010), states that in Nigeria where the private sector is not well developed, SMEs are assumed to play prominent role in employment generation and facilitation of economic recovery and national development. He maintains that the growing recognition of the role of SMEs may have influence the decision of World Bank Group to commit roughly $2.4 billion on SME, as core element in its strategy to foster economic growth, employment generation and poverty alleviation.

While the importance of small and medium enterprises has not been in doubt, unfortunately classifying businesses and organizations into large and medium scale is subjective and depends on different value parameters. These parameters follow different criteria such as employment, total assets or total investment. The definitions of small and medium enterprises vary in different economies but the underlying concept is the same. Ayyagari et.al (2003) and Buckley (1988) contend that the “definition of small and medium sc ale enterprises varies according to context, author and country”.

In the case of Nigeria, hardly do we have a clear-cut definition that distinguishes small and medium scale enterprises. The first attempt to define SMEs in Nigeria was by the Central Bank of Nigeria in its monetary policies circular No. 22 of 1988, where SMEs was defined as those enterprises with annual turnover not exceeding 500,000 naira. Similarly, in 1990, the Federal Government of Nigeria defined small scale enterprises for the purpose of commercial bank loans as those enterprises whose annual turnover does not exceed 500,000 thousand naira and for merchant bank loan, those enterprises with capital investment not exceeding 2million naira (excluding the cost of land).

In 1993, the definition of SMEs was reviewed by the Federal Government, which increased their total asset to five million as a result of the introduction of the Second Tier Foreign Exchange Market (SFEM), and the spiral inflation fuelled by the Structural Adjustment.....

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