Uche Usim, Abuja
In its efforts to grow the economy, the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) said it has so far disbursed over N100 billion to about 95,000 MSMEs cutting across various sectors of the economy. The bank said 70 per cent of these loans went to women-owned/managed businesses, while 51 per cent so far were disbursed to youth owned businesses.It said it remains set to boost disbursements to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country, with a focus on the identified underserved areas.
Speaking on the development during the first DBN MSME Summit held recently in Maiduguri, Borno State, the bank’s Managing Director, Mr Tony Okpanachi, said that a major challenge faced by the MSMEs is their inability to structure and put together bankable business plans which makes banks 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), Okpanachi said that DBN’s “Chief Operating Officer will work with relevant departments within the organisation to put together immediate capacity building plan that will involve assembling a number of MSMEs in Borno State and make them go through an extensive training programme.
He said that the bank, in its efforts to meet its new target, has taken several measures, including the expansion of its capacity building programmes in the North East, South East and North West, which have witnessed comparatively lower rates of disbursement.
The objective, it noted, is to boost the capacity of local entrepreneurs to meet its requirements and qualify for inclusion for DBN support. “This is in line with the bank’s mandate to support the stimulation of diversified and inclusive growth and alleviate specific financing constraints that hamper the growth of domestic production and commerce by providing targeted wholesale funding to fill identified enterprise financing gaps in the MSME segment.