Taiwo Joda, managing director, Accion Microfinance Bank explained that the Ariaria branch has a unique target market of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in Ariaria community and would further re-enforce the bank’s capacity to serve its customers’, in line with its vision and mission.
He stated that Accion was established to economically empower micro-entrepreneurs and low-income earners, by providing financial services in a sustainable, ethical and profitable manner and urged the Aba business community to take advantage of the bank’s products to expand their businesses.
In his words, “I am using this opportunity to invite our current and prospective customers to come and do business with us. We are here to render exceptional service to you because,in Accion MfB, the customer is king.
“We are here to offer our basket of financial services and products ranging from savings, current, fixed deposit accounts, micro-loans, Asset Loans, SME loans, insurance and e-channels, which will definitely lend a hand to government efforts in alleviating poverty among the low-income earners and people at the bottom of the pyramid”.
Andy Obasi, president, Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), chairman of the occasion, expressed joy over the decision of the management of Accion to open a branch in Aba, saying that it came at the right place and at the right time.
“Aba being a huge market with entrepreneurial residents can never be unconventional for any kind of investment and so, as we all know that here is the commercial nerve centre of the Eastern region and the MSME capital of Nigeria”.
The ACCIMA president promised to partner Accion MfB is it fulfils its promise to provide Aba entrepreneurs easy access to finance, stressing that one of the biggest challenges of MSMEs is lack of access to cheap funds.
He reminded the public that Microfinance Banks were introduced in Nigeria to provide finance to the economically active poor, excluded from financing from commercial banks.
“Also, microfinance banks also provide employment and bring rural development and reduce poverty within the areas of their operation.
“Your track record as documented reveals the picture of a successful microfinance bank and if you did it elsewhere, we believe that you will do it here as well. We are ready to partner with you if you are willing to fulfil your promise, as enshrined in your mission statement, “he stated.
Accion Microfinance Bank was incorporated in May 2007, to carry on microfinance banking business. The Bank was granted an operational license by the CBN in April, 2007 and commenced operations in May same year.
Three months later, Accion MfB had approved 286 loans with demand outstripping capacity. The bank continued expanding its outreach and attained a total of 812 active loans and 387 savings accounts in just five months.
Within that same timeframe, Accion MfB opened five new branches and increased the average number of clients per loan officer to 81.
Accion partnered with Accion MfB to provide technical assistance in the areas of credit methodology design and implementation, information technology and staff training. Accion has also made capital investments in the institution.
Today, Accion continues to work with Accion MfB, providing them with management services, technical assistance, governance and investment to help them fulfil their mission and vision.
Its shareholders include three of the leading commercial banks in Nigeria, Zenith, Ecobank and Citibank, as well as other global financial institutions.