BusinessDay

Hope of customers strengthened as Baobab MfB completes recapitalisation

Baobab Microfinance Bank Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Baobab Group, which serves more than 700,000 clients across 10 countries, has raised the hope of its customers following its completion of recapitalisation exercise before the April 2022 deadline.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had given April 2022 as the deadline for Microfinance Banks to shore up their capital.

At a customers’ forum held recently, Kazeem Olanrewaju, managing director/CEO, said there was no cause for alarm for customers and stakeholders of the bank.

“We promised we are going to ensure that we are fully recapitalised to put everybody’s mind at rest. I can also say that between that last year and now, we are fully recapitalized and nobody needs to worry about the intervention of the regulator in any case,” Olanrewaju said at a customer forum organised by the bank.

“Customer forum is an event we organise every year in each of the regions. It is a place where we are able to interact with our customers with a view to getting feedback from them and also be able to tell them the developments in the bank and our aspirations and what we intend to do,” he said.

He said the bank also uses the opportunity to offer customers education, to know the customers, to know the things it needs to do better and to improve the bank services.

Within a span of one year since the last customers forum, he said the bank has introduced an App known as MyBaobab, which provides customers the opportunity for transfers, to check account balances, to know their loan repayment and the status of their loan. “You are also able to do a lot of transactions on that.”

The managing director disclosed that the bank has opened additional six branches and agency banking.

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“We also talked about the fact that we will continue to grow the branch from three different fronts, branch network, so between last year and now we have created six additional branches and the agency banking. We are partnering with some agency networks across the country at the moment and then on a digital platform.”

According to him, the bank has grown and supported its customers with over N40 billion between last year and now. It has also grown its loan book to well over N20 billion, and staff strength has increased to 600.

“We have created a different platform where customers can get the same service that they would get if they had appeared across the counter in any of our branches. So there have been a lot of changes that we have seen,” he said.

Responding to challenges confronting the bank’s operations, he said, “there have been a lot of challenges, this is a typical business. When you look at the area of security, banditry and kidnapping, usually in the North, there are places that are very difficult for us to operate even in Kaduna.”

“We have also had to tell our staff to shut down the branches as early as 6.30 unlike before they even used to attend to customers even by seven.

The bank also used the opportunity to reward some customers who have been loyal to it. The forum was graced by customers from Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMES), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), market group leaders, partners and other dignitaries.

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