James Emejo in Abuja
The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Mr. Tony Okpanachi, has said the Bank is currently taking measures, including the expansion of its capacity building programmes in the north east, south east and north west, which had witnessed comparatively lower rates of disbursement.
He said the sum of over N100 billion had so far been disbursed to over 95,000 MSMEs cut across various sectors of the economy this year.
He said new strategies were also being deployed to boost the growing network of MSMEs that it is financing across the country as well as extend its reach to underserved areas.
Speaking during the maiden DBN MSME Summit held in Maiduguri, Borno State, he said 70 per cent of disbursed loans went to women-owned/managed businesses, while 51 per cent were disbursed to youth owned businesses.
Okpanachi, further identified the inability of MSMEs to structure and put together a bankable business plan as a major challenge faced by the MSMEs.
In a statement, he noted that the development had made banks to view them as high risk and therefore unwilling to finance them.
To fix the problem and make MSMEs attractive to DBN’s participating financial institutions (PFIs), the MD, however, said its chief operating officer would 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 and make them go through an extensive capacity building programme.
The DBN commenced lending operations in November 2017 with two microfinance banks namely LAPO and NPF with a pilot loan of N200 million to about 300 MSMEs.
In 2018, the bank’s first full year of operation, it increased disbursements to about N30 billion, reaching 35,000 MSMEs across the country.