From Uche Usim, Abuja
Development Bank of Nigeria Plc has disclosed that N400 billion has been disbursed as loans to 150,000 Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria since its inception in 2017.
The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Tony Okpanachi, made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday at the second DBN annual virtual lecture series themed: ‘Resilient Innovation: MSMEs’ adaptability in Uncertain Times,
According to him, the DBN has successfully lived up to its mandate by providing funds for SMEs.
He said, “As a bank, we have championed this cause through all our three mandates of providing long term financing, capacity building and partial credit guarantees over the years.
“Since commencing operations in 2017, we have disbursed over N400bn in loans to over 150,000 Nigerian SMEs out of which 27 per cent are women owned and 26 per cent new owned businesses respectively. This has led to the creation of over 130,000 jobs.
“In the year 2020 alone, the sum of N190bn was disbursed through 19 PFIs out of which N9.8bn was to 6,935 first time borrowers, N5.7bn to 9,066 youths, N11.8bn to 25,171 women owned businesses.
“Cumulatively, 83 per cent reported an increase in their sales after obtaining the loan, while 48 per cent were able to increase their staff strength after receiving the facility.
“Additionally, 125 MSMEs were also trained as part of our capacity building initiative through the DBN Entrepreneurship Training Programme which was held in Abuja and Lagos.”
He added that the 2021 DBN Training programme has commenced, adding that it is financed by the DBN under the platform of Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, Google and Wider Perspectives Ltd.
Okpanachi noted that the rationale behind the bank’s interest in SMEs was because “big things have small beginnings.”
Okpanachi noted, “It is at times like this that our mandate at the d
Development Bank of Nigeria Plc has captured in our vision which is to facilitate sustainable socio-economic development through the provision of finance to Nigerians on sound SME through eligible financial intermediaries.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Board, DBN, Shehu Yahaya, said the bank has during the years focused on avenues to make SMEs thrive.
He said the DBN five years strategic plan which include expanding its reach, advocating for MSMEs and expanding its capacity among others has become more crucial in the face of difficulties in the country.
Benedict Oramah, President & Chairman, Board of Directors, African Export–Import Bank who was represented by the bank’s Executive Vice President, Finance, Administration and Banking Services, Denys Denya, said SMEs are the fall out in the Covid-19 pandemic calls for huge concentration on SME fundings.
According to him, 62 per cent of women led small businesses have been strongly impacted by the pandemic, while between 27 per cent or 30 per cent of SMEs owned by men were impacted.
He lamented that African SMEs are largely suffering digital gap, a reason he said that led to huge obstruction in the continent’s supply chain during the lockdown.