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CBAN rings closing bell as it announces credit conference  

The Credit Bureau Association of Nigeria (CBAN) on Monday rang the closing bell on the trading floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), announcing its 6th credit reporting conference bill for Friday.

Jemeelah Sharrieff-Ayedun, managing director and chief executive of CBAN, alongside heads of member bodies were received by Jude Chukwuemeka, the NSE divisional head, trading business as the market wrapped up with a marginal gain of 0.14 percent.

He said the exchange would be ready for further collaborations with the Bureau in furtherance of strengthening Nigeria’s financial environment.

The conference will bother on deepening financial inclusion and creating credit opportunities for small and medium enterprises and consumers, Sharrieff-Ayedun said. Sessions will provide direct interactions with the credit bureaus in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem, an online master class with online lenders and exhibition room opens up signing up for loans.

“We realise that consumers and small businesses are unaware of them. So we want to demystify the system and be able to bring awareness and show how they can benefit from the credit system. Now that in Nigeria, access to credit seems to be much easier, people want to understand how they can get that access,” she said.

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“We encourage every small business or consumer that wants access to credit to come. We are going to be giving out loans that day, and for those who are coming, we can pre-qualify them immediately, we have lenders who are ready to access and give loans that day.”

CBAN has since 2013 focused on informing lender’s decision on who to give loan by providing historical information about borrower’s credit worthiness, showing a record of credit experience and performance.

Sharrieff-Ayedun said the association has seen some growth in transparency and de-risking in the investment cycle, with about 2000 financial and non-financial institutions such as the telecommunication players and manufacturers registering with the three member bodies to report credit data. The three licensed bureaus are CRC Credit Bureau Ltd., Credit Registry Nigeria and XDS Credit Bureau Ltd.

“We want to make sure there is no hiding place in Nigeria’s financial economy because it makes our economy stronger. The funds that are being used to give these loans, either depositors fund or investor’s; we have an obligation to make sure that money is given out without risk. By reporting credit information to the bureau, you minimise risk of someone not paying,” she explained

Poor financing remains a crucial factor inhibiting the growth of many businesses in the country, despite numerous initiatives to widen access to funding.

To this end, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has recently gone tough on banks for failing to raise lending despite moving loan to deposit ratio (LDR) from 60 to 65 percent.

With 36,994,578 enterprises, micro-enterprises account for the majority of the MSMEs in Nigeria, about 99.8 percent, while small enterprises are 68,168, and medium enterprises 4,670 respectively.

CBAN’s director says access needs to increase for the economy to get better at large, noting that if businesses do well, they’ll hire more and grow bigger.

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