The Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks, Lagos State Chapter, (NAMBLAG) Adenrele Oni has unveiled how Nigeria’s Microfinance Banks (MfBs) have disbursed about N1.7trillion in loans as at June 2022, while deposit base is said to be over N700 billion.
Oni, stated this on at the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Inauguration of New Executive Management Committee of NAMBLAG.
According to Oni, MfBs have complied with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) new capitalization requirement, and hinted that a number of MfBs are waiting for regulatory approval which will come out of the new capital injection.
“Our members are up and running in meeting with the capitalisation requirement. A number of our members have met and surpassed the capital requirements which is a plus to the sector,” Oni said
He further explained that there have been a number of developments in the sector, with the emergence of a number of digital banks that have invested in the digitalization of the microfinance ecosystem.
“In order to champion our collective interest and accomplishing our goals, we will continue to collaborate and engage in meaningful discussions with all service providers in our sector, stakeholders, major correspondent banks, credit bureaus, information technology and banking applications providers, the Microfinance banks regulators,” Oni said.
Earlier in his remarks, the immediate past chairman of the association and MD Accion MfB, Taiwo Joda, said MfBs have done very well in the area of digitalisation, especially those operating in Lagos.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Growing digitally through innovation and collaboration’, Joda disclosed that the association harps on the need for increased collaboration among members, especially with fintechs and other digital technology providers on different platforms.
“Technology is not cheap; that may be one of the reasons why we have not seen a significant number of Microfinance Banks having their banking processes fully digitalised. Like a few other banks who can pull the financial muscle,” he said.
Speaking further on digital adoption by MfBs, Joda said that the ratio of capital investments in digital technology varies from bank to bank. According to him, stakeholders drives digital technology adoption.
The ratio of capital investments in digital technology varies from bank to bank, that is why I said you can have a N20 million and be able to digitize your project. It also depends on your size. We have unit, State and National Microfinance bank,” Joda said.
On how MfBs can successfully integrate technology in their day-to-day operations, Joda said MfBs do not necessarily have to grow it on their own; but can collaborate with fintechs and other technology providers.
“You can also collaborate with different digital platforms, especially payment platforms, and that helps you because you don’t need to invest any significant amount on IT infrastructure; what you need to do is to buy and pay as you go. So, you don’t need to tie down your capital expenditure. You can buy it and rent or lease technology and pay overtime,” he concludes.