James Emejo in Abuja
Jaiz Bank Plc yesterday secured a N3 billion credit facility from the Bank of Industry (BoI) for onward lending to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
The BoI Executive Director, SMEs, Mr. Shekarau Omar, who presented the cheque to Jaiz Bank on behalf of BoI MD, expressed confidence at the ability of the non-interest bank to effectively disburse the funds to target groups.
Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Jaiz Bank, Mr. Hassan Usman said small businesses will be able to access the funds to grow their businesses and create wealth.
He said: “Fundamental to the vision and mission of Jaiz Bank is to create wealth for MSMEs. I want to assure you that maximum benefits will to the stakeholders.
“We have already started pilot financial inclusion drive. We are also going to use agency banking to reach those people in places where we are not physically present. We are also intervening to provide financing to women group.”
However, Omar said: “We are ready to participate with institutions that are ready to support and develop areas that needed support. We are comfortable this N3 billion will help Nigeria grow.”
He said the development finance institution is already in the partnership with 16 different financial institutions, stressing that the sum of N3.8 billion had so far been disbursed under the initiative.
He said: “With this N3 billion we are disbursing to Jaiz Bank today, it means this project would have risen to over N6 billion, we also have in our online 9 different institutions we are partnering with , we hope to disburse another N5.3 billion to them between now and end of this quarter.”
He said BoI disbursement portfolio was expected to grow to N12 billion from N6.8 billion by the end of the intervention scheme.
Omar said the idea was to devise the most effective means of delivering affordable finance to businesses which are unable to access funding from conventional means.
According to him: “They are the ones that will boost the economy, they are the ones that will help the system but unfortunately, they have no means of getting funds and therefore, what we do is that we now work for financial institutions that will provide the reach, help the penetration and also help the men and women customers.”
He further encouraged Jaiz Bank to come forward for another trance of disbursement as soon as it is able to properly managed the initial N3 billion.