Nigeria’s devt bank disburses N400bn to MSMEs

Nigeria's devt bank disburses N400bn to MSMEs

No fewer than 150, 000 Micro, Small and Mediun Enterprises (MSMEs) has recieved N400 billion from the Development Bank of Nigeria Plc since its inception in 2017.

The Managing Director (MD) of the bank, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, disclosed this during the second Annual Lecture series of the bank, which held virtually today.

According to him, “Since commencing operations in 2017, we have disbursed over N400billion in loans to over 150,000 MSMEs, out of which, 57% are women-owned and 28%  youth-owned businesses respectively, culminating in the creation of over 130,000 jobs.

“In the year 2020 alone, the sum of N190 billion was disbursed through 19 PFIs; out of which N9.8 billion were to 6,935 first time borrowers; N5.7 billion to 9,066 youths, and N11.8 billion to 25,171 women-owned businesses. Cumulatively, 83% reported an increase in their sales after obtaining the loan, while 48% were able to increase their staff strength after receiving the facility.”

DBN, the MD said, was interested in MSMEs because of its belief in, ‘”big things have small beginnings’ and according to the International Council for Small Businesses (ICSB), formal and informal MSMEs make up over 90% of all businesses, employing over 70% of the workforce and contributing to over 50% of GDP. Nigeria alone has over 41 million registered MSMEs.”

Mr. Okpanachi disclosed that from 2017 to date, 125 MSMEs were also trained, as part of the bank’s capacity-building initiative through the DBN Entrepreneurship Training Programme.

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He added that the 2021 Entrepreneurship Training Programme has also commenced and being fully bankrolled by DBN under the platforms of Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University, Google, and Wider Perspectives – a specialised capacity building Agency for micro-businesses.

The MD said, “This underscores our commitment to the cause of championing conversation on how MSMEs can prosper despite the odds in these peculiar times.

“Therefore, it is at times like this that our mandate at DBN finds full expression as captured in our Vision which is “To facilitate Sustainable Socio-Economic Development through the Provision of Finance to Nigerian’s Underserved MSMEs through Eligible Financial Intermediaries.”

In his remarks, the Chairman of DBN, Dr. Shehu Yahaya, said that the theme of this year’s lecture, “Resilient Innovation: MSMEs’ Adaptability in Uncertain Times” spoke  directly  to the bank’s commitment, as a financial institution, towards providing a conducive environment for MSMEs in Nigeria to thrive.

His words, “Just as we continue our lending to MSMEs through our Participating Financial Institutions, we also extend our engagements with critical stakeholders to advocate for enabling policies that promote the growth and development of these essential segments of our economy.

“The Covid-19 pandemic, which has further complicated an already challenging micro and macro-economic environment, has impacted businesses adversely across all segments.

“The DBN Annual Lecture Series is one of the ways we continue to engage with all stakeholders to search for solutions and influence policies aimed at addressing the constraints faced by Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises.”

In his address, the President of African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Prof. Benedict Oramah, said that his organisation was working with various member countries to create the necessary environment for MSMEs to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

Accordingly, he said that the free movement of goods across borders of regional members would enhance opportunities for operators in the sub-sector to expand their market reach.

The Afrexim boss who was represented by the Mr. Denys Denya, described MSMEs as, “pillars upon which diversified economies could be built,” as well as, “the cornerstone for building resilient economies.”

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