Managing Director, Accion MFB Ms. Bunmi Lawson

Nume Ekeghe

Accion Microfinance Bank has disbursed a total of N79.8 billion as loans to micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) between 2007 and November 2017.

The bank which presently has its presence in some states across Nigeria, has also said it plans to expand aggressively by opening 80 new branches nationwide.

The Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director, Accion MFB Ms. Bunmi Lawson said this at the bank’s annual customers’ forum in Lagos yesterday.

She said: “From N217 million disbursed in 2007, we have disbursed a total of N17.5 billion from January to November 2017 to 53,238 customers.

“From inception of the bank to date, we have disbursed a total of N79.7 billion. The number of accounts opened also grew from 2,531 in 2007 to 294,018 in November 2017.

“We were also responsive to our customers in insurance claim settlements for outstanding loans from various incidents during the year as their loans were cleared by our insurance partners while additional benefits are still credited to their accounts to enable them cushion the effect of the unfortunate incidents.”

On other initiatives the bank would introduce in the coming year, she said: “To serve you better in 2018, we have embarked on initiatives which includes NIBBS instant payment, (NIP).”

This, according to Lawson would also solve the problem of transfer to and from other banks going forward.

In terms of digital banking, she said microfinance was partnering other Fintech companies to enable customers request and pay for loans via their phones, with the use of social media algorithms.

“Accion MFB Short Code (572) – We are in the process of launching Accion MFB Shortcode to replace Brighter 143. This is simply banking on the phone making you able to do banking transactions such as account balances, funds transfers, bills payments, etc, right on your hand held phones and Beta Solar, loans to acquire uninterrupted solar power in your homes.”

On his part, the incoming MD/CEO, Accion MFB, Mr. Taiwo Joda said: “Our mandate in 2018 is to surpass your expectations in 2018 and beyond with a lot of packages.

“These include opening of 80 more outlets (branches) in existing states and new ones, having footprint in the North and FCT and cover the whole federation by 2022. Introduce new products that would address specific needs of our customers, introduce digital Banking.”

He added: “We would continue to invest heavily in information technology infrastructure to ensure that all our service touch points are reliable; continue to implement loyalty rewards for our dear long-standing customers, show more concern to our customers in taking business decision in line with the smart campaign.”