Alert MFB Group Targets 100,000 MSMEs in 2024

Gilbert Ekugbe

Alert Microfinance Bank (MFB) Group has announced plans to support over 100,000 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in 2024 with affordable business loans.
The move, according to the company, is aimed at addressing the lack of access to credit for businesses which is still a major challenge hindering the growth and development of MSMEs in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer , Alert MFB Group, Dr. Olanrewaju Kazeem, at the grand opening of Alert Group headquarters and product launch yesterday in Lagos, said the Group so far has supported over 35,000 businesses and would be deploying the use of technology and credible partnerships to achieve the 100,000 target.

He said: “Based on our plans for the year, we are looking at a massive upscale of supporting over 100,000 businesses across our branches. We believe with this, within the next one year, we should be able to bring an additional 100,000 businesses into the Group.”
According to him, the company is focused more on supporting MSMEs, explaining that about 98 per cent of its loans are extended to supporting businesses.
He stated that courtesy of the license from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Group’s intention is to expand across the whole of Lagos State, while also pointing out plans to open up 10 additional branches to take its number of outlets in the State to 20.

“As it stands today, Alert Microfinance Bank is a State licensed bank by the CBN so this means we can operate across the State. Today, we have about 10 branches across Lagos and they have supported over 30,000 clients. We have also disbursed over N30 billion so far,” he stated.
He, however, commended the federal government for establishing the microfinance bank policy, saying that is a step in the right direction that has benefited many Nigerians.

“I cannot imagine where this country would have been if there were no microfinance banks in the country. We started this business with N27 million, but today we have raised our total asset in excess of N14 billion.
“Our intention is to grow the loan book to well over N30 billion by the end of this year. We believe this is doable given the growth that we have seen in recent years and the support from the board and management,” he averred.

Earlier, the Commissioner of Finance, Lagos State, Mr. Abayomi Oluyomi, said according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS),  50 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) representing 60 million people are employed by several millions of MSMEs in the State.
He stated that the Alert MFB Group has been in the forefront in the past 10 years to empower small scale businesses in the State, saying that the Group has so far disbursed N30 billion loans to over 30,000 individuals.
“What we are saying is that the Group is a partner of Lagos State because they are about empowering the people which is one of the core mandates of the Lagos State government,” he said.

“As we gather here, it is imperative to recognize the pivotal role that Alert MFB as a SME enabler is playing in driving economic growth, fostering innovation and creating employment opportunities in Lagos State and Nigeria at large.
“Nowhere is the impact of SMEs more evident than in Lagos State, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. With its vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, diverse population, and robust infrastructure, Lagos provides a fertile ground for SMEs to thrive and flourish.”

“As the Commissioner of Finance of Lagos State, I am acutely aware of the challenges that SMEs face in accessing finance, navigating regulatory frameworks, and scaling operations. However, I am also committed to ensuring that SMEs have the necessary support and enabling environment to thrive and succeed.

“That is why the Lagos State Government has implemented a range of initiatives and policies aimed at empowering SMEs, including access to finance, capacity building and market linkages,” he said.

Related Articles