Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), has said it will work with Borno Renaissance Micro Finance Bank, to explore wholesale lending to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
The move is in direct response to layers of financial exclusion; occasioned by decade long Boko Haram insurgency that claimed many lives and property.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Tony Okpanachi, disclosed this on Tuesday, while addressing participants at an MSME Summit at the Government House, Maiduguri, Borno State.
“This state had a reputation as one of the thriving nerve centres of the North-East, owing to the strength of its commercial, trading and export potential,” he recalled.
“The MSMEs play a crucial role in economic growth, poverty reduction, employment creation, and shared wealth creation,” he added.
He said the Borno State Government with its 10-point agenda of growing the economy and entrepreneurship, will in collaboration with DBN ensure rebuilding of the MSME sector.
“As part of DBN’s mandate of providing sustainable financing, Maiduguri has been chosen as a veritable location to host the first ever DBN MSME Summit,” he declared.
He said the Summit; with theme: “The Role of Development Banks in Financial Inclusion,” is a new dawn for economic growth and development in the state and MSMEs.
He said the major challenge faced by the MSMEs is their inability to structure and put together a bankable business plan, which makes banks consider them as high risks and unwilling to on-lend credit to them.
His words: “Our Chief Operating Officer will work with relevant departments within DBN to put together an immediate capacity building plan that will involve assembling a number of MSMEs in the state.
“This will make them go through an extensive capacity building programme, and equip them with relevant know-how to become attractive to Participating Financial Institutions (PFI).”
He assured that the MSMEs initiative on has worked in other parts of the country, believing that it could also work in Borno, noting that DBN disbursed over N100 billion to about 95,000 MSMEs in various sectors of the economy.
“Additionally, 70% of loans were to women-owned/managed businesses, and 51% so far are youth owned businesses,” he said.