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DBN, AFREXIM Bank collaborate to transform Nigeria MSMEs

The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) in collaboration with AFREXIM Bank has restated the need to help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) overcome challenges and transform into a major fulcrum of the Nigerian economy.

This is expected to position both the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and MSMEs at the centre of technological innovation, transformation, local value addition, non-oil export drive, linkage to larger enterprise and a veritable engine for job generation in Nigeria.

Tony Okpanachi, the managing director, DBN, while speaking during the session themed: “Resilient Innovation: MSMEs Adaptability in Uncertain Times,” stated that the mandate of the bank underscores its commitment to the cause of championing conversation on how MSMEs can prosper despite the odds.

Okpanachi stated this as issues around advancement and growth of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria took the front burner during the second edition of its annual lecture series held recently.

He disclosed further that since it commenced operations four years ago, the bank has contributed meaningfully to the growth of the Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country through loan facilities and capacity building.

Read also: FG disburses N56.8bn to 1m MSMEs

“Since commencing operations in 2017, we have disbursed over N400 billion in loans to over 150,000 MSMEs; 27 percent are women and 28 percent youth-owned, creating over 130,000 jobs,” said Okpanachi.

In the year 2020 alone, the N190b was disbursed through 19 Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) out of which N9.8b was to 6,935 first time borrowers, N5.7b to 9,066 youths and N11.8b to 25,171 women-owned businesses.

Cumulatively, 83 percent reported an increase in sales after obtaining the loan while 48 percent were able to increase their staff strength after receiving the facility.

In addition, 125 MSMEs were also trained as part of the capacity building initiative through the DBN Entrepreneurship Training programme which was held in Abuja and Lagos.

Benedict Oramah, President AFREXIM Bank, said the DBN has been creative with interventions taken to develop MSMEs. “DBN’s role has become paramount as Nigeria prepares to trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and maximise its benefits,” said Oramah.

He states that the DBN’s strategic importance also stems from the fact that no meaningful post-covid-19 economic recovery can occur without the sustained growth of MSMEs.

Represented by Denys Denya, executive vice president – Finance, Administration and Banking Services, Oramah said there is opportunity for collaboration between DBN, AFREXIM Bank and other development partners in harnessing the talents of the youth, and in building a virile and dynamic MSMEs sector.

Shehu Yahaya, Chairman, DBN, said the focus of the lecture series is to collaborate with other stakeholders to develop ideas, policies, programmes and projects to bring about changes in the MSMEs sector.

He stressed that major changes are occurring at the global level and Nigeria must position itself to take advantage. ‘All certainties are being pushed aside and new realities are emerging at a faster rate than it ever occurred in the history of human race,” Yahaya said.

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