Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has unfolded a nationwide strategic plan for on-lending to millions of medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.
The DBN Managing Director, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, who spoke at the just concluded Kogi State SMEs clinic, which was flagged-off by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in Lokoja, Kogi State, described MSMEs as “driving force that powers every economy local and foreign.”
He reaffirmed the bank’s commitment towards providing enabling environment for Nigerian businesses in accessing required funding.
Okpanachi said: “To ensure you are getting the best deal for your business, let me share with you how to access funds from DBN. As I stated earlier, DBN is a wholesale DFI which means DBN funds can only be accessed through your commercial banks, Microfinance banks or any other licensed financial institutions we do business with.
“We are currently on the verge of on-boarding several microfinance banks and deposit money banks to ensure full coverage of the country to access our loans.
“DBN is an institution that cares deeply about the MSME segment and we are taking steps to find ways to collaborate with several stakeholders within our industry to ensure you entrepreneurs, farmers, traders and small business owners have access to loans that can help you grow your business.
“We shall be publishing the names of the participating financial institutions as we sign them,” he assured.
Okpanachi, who promised a paradigm shift towards supporting MSMEs in Nigeria, said: “Our lending activities officially kicked off on October 30th, 2017, by making available N5 billion for on-lending to 20,000 MSMEs across the country through 3 micro finance banks.
“So far, we have been able to track the disbursed funds through the MFBs and we are already beginning to see the impact in each sector. For instance, we have activities ongoing in the following sectors namely: Trade and Commerce, Education, Real Estate Activities and Agriculture.
“Additionally, we have seen that of the funds disbursed, men have accessed 69 per cent while women have accessed 31 per cent. I believe more women should access our loans as women have been doing a great job of managing their small businesses well in this state.
“In the past, we have seen other development financial institutions try to make an impact in the economy with mixed results.
“As you entrepreneurs, small business owners, farmers, traders from this great state must already know, accessing finance from banks can be challenging. I am sure many of you have found it difficult to get longer tenor funding for your businesses. There was a need to fill that gap,” Okpanachi noted.
In the bid to ensure easy repayment of the loan, Okpanachi disclosed that DBN offers longer tenor on loans of up to 10 years and up to 18 months moratorium.