James Emejo in Abuja
The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) Wednesday said it has signed on at least 35,000 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)/end borrowers within its first full year of operation.
The Managing Director of the Development Bank, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, said the number translated to a 75 per cent increase over the 20,000 MSMEs projection earlier announced for the year.
He said the development further underscored the significant progress which the institution had made since it commenced formal lending activities in October 2017.
DBN was established to provide structured and sustainable financing to small businesses.
Okpanachi, had in July predicted a spike in the number of MSMEs signing up towards year-end.
He said the institution had granted loans to about 10,000 small businesses this year, accounting for half its target.
The MD described the current increase in enrolment as “a vast improvement over projections.”
The achievement came on the heels of another important milestone attained by DBN- its recent induction into SME Finance Forum, a global membership network that brings together financial institutions, technology companies, and development finance institutions to share knowledge, spur innovation, and promote the growth of SMEs.
The SME Finance Forum was established by the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) in 2012 as a knowledge center for data, research and best practice in promoting SME finance.
The focus of the network of 140 members is to collaborate on catalysing and expanding access to finance for MSMEs.
It is expected that the opportunities for networking and strategic partnership afforded by the forum would boost the bank’s capacity to deliver on its mandate in terms of knowledge, capacity and best practice, the DBN boss said.
According to him, the milestone reinforced other positives that have been notched up by the institution.
These, according to him, included the planned establishment of a subsidiary which would be responsible for providing partial credit guarantees to lenders.
The unit would begin operation with $35 million in start-up funding in 2019- seeking to provide 50 percent guarantees for all credit disbursed through DBN and the funding will be increased as the unit takes on more portfolios.
The DBN has further reached agreement with 19 participating finance institutions (PFIs) and has strong focus on development objectives such as job creation and poverty alleviation is supported by a strong, confidence boosting world class governance structure which has clear reporting standards.
The DBN has the most robust international partnership with the World Bank, African Development Bank and the European investment Bank.