DBN to Disburse N100bn to MSMEs
Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has revealed that it planned to disburse the sum of N100 billion to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) segment this year.
It also added that it disbursed over N30 billion to over 35,000 end-borrowers in the MSME segment in its first full year of operations, while also collaborating with other development finance institutions to remove some of the barriers to access to finance in the segment.
The Chief Economist for the bank, Prof. Joseph Nnanna, disclosed this yesterday at the 5th edition of the Refined Economic Development (RED) quarterly lecture held at the University of Abuja and organised by Economic and Business Strategies (EBS) with the theme, “Real Sector Constraints to Economic Growth and Development.”
Presenting his paper titled “Contemporary Strategies for Financial Inclusion and Prosperity in Nigeria,” he explained that MSME are the backbone of any economy, considering the fact that the segment makes up over 90 per cent of all firms and accounts for an average of 60 to 70 per cent of total employment and roughly 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.
Nnanna explained that a 2018 survey by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) showed that only 31 per cent of MSME in Nigeria have ever obtained a loan from a financial institution, commercial or micro finance bank.
He said that the principal reason for the low figure in spite of its undisputable impact on the economy include, high/lack of collateral, problems with credit history, unfavorable worthiness of the prospective borrowers.
Nnanna stated: “For Nigeria as a whole, we are trying to achieve more access to finance for the MSME because we believe they are the engine that grows any economy in any part of the world.
“This year alone, the DBN plans to disburse N100 billion to MSME and we are quite on track as it is already. We are very confident that we will achieve that this year and beyond.
“Furthermore, to aid in reducing the risk associated with the MSME segment, the DBN offers partial risk sharing (Credit Guarantees) with prospective financial institutions granting credit to the operators in the segment.
“In 2018, 22.74 per cent of total credit was allocated to the oil and gas sector and 13.75 per cent was allocated to the manufacturing sector. Conversely, sectors where the MSME participants operate include Agriculture which total credit allocated was a paltry 3.16 per cent, General/Trade and Commerce 6.89 per cent and Education which credit to this sector remains subdued, received 0.41 per cent (NBS, 2018). “
The chief economist however said that the limited access to finance for the MSME segment severely constrained opportunities for economic diversification in Nigeria, noting that from a macro-economic examination, there is “a crowding out effect,” due to government borrowing.
He added, “As a result, over a period of one year, we witnessed an increase in treasury bill rates peaking at 18 per cent in 2017. At the same time banks facing a challenging external environment worked to reduce risks, crowding out liquidity to real sector including MSMEs.
“Presently, treasury bill rates have declined to 12.7 per cent. However, yields on government bonds are around 14.5 per cent making it still very attractive to lend to the government. Typically, Nigerian banks observe a value chain business model that deals with already established firms with a track record of success.
“Consequently, banks tend to ignore MSMEs because of poor or no credit history, insufficient collateral to name a few reasons. To that effect, Nigerian banks resort back to what they understand to be a sale investment choice which is competing for larger firms and accepting lower margins only to exploit the higher yields earned from credit and perhaps other fees earned through product offerings as part of the loan agreements.”
Nnanna stressed that an emerging facet in the Nigerian operating environment was the untapped fintech segment which he said could change the fortunes of the challenges surrounding access to finance.
Earlier, the Chairman/ CEO of EBS, Prof. Magnus Kpakol, said that before Nigeria would compete with developed countries, there was need for an improvement in the country’s human capital in order to produce efficiently and effectively.
“You have to be able to produce goods and services and to do that, we need improvement in human capital. Our human capital development has to be much better.
“One of the big reasons why we lag behind is because of the human capital deficiency we have. If you doing have the skills, the determination and the attitude to be competitive and to raise your skill level, you will have trouble being competitive
“You see the proficiency in with which China is conquering the world in terms of business and global competitiveness. We cannot compete with them at the pace that we are going and that reflected in the misery two per cent growth rate in that we registered in GDP in the first quarter of this year.
“Our population is growing at three per cent and we are growing our GDP at two per cent, we need to be growing our GDP at this time at close to two per cent. The Chinese have been averaging 10 per cent over the last forty years.”
Wema Bank, MOD Launch Scheme For International Students
Wema Bank has launched an advisory and loan scheme, the Education Advisory Service, in partnership with MOD Education for young Nigerians wishing to study abroad.
Following foreign exchange control measures introduced by the government, parents and guardians have experienced difficulties paying tuition fees for their children and wards studying abroad. Some who have the money don’t know the requirements for foreign admission and waste lots of time and resources in fruitless searches.
But to help them surmount these challenges, Wema Bank has partnered with MOD Education, a professional student advisory, marketing, recruitment and placement company for the advisory services and school fees advance facility. The partnership, which was launched on Friday, April 9 at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, will see both organizations providing innovative education advisory services and funds for international students.
Speaking about the partnership, Divisional Head, Retail Business, Wema Bank, Dotun Ifebogun, explained that the initiative would aid hundreds of thousands of Nigerians requiring advisory and financial support to pay for their wards in foreign schools.
He explained that Wema Bank does not want the aspirations of Nigerians desirous of foreign education truncated, hence the support.
“We are interested in everything that concerns our customers, and education is one of them. Some parents and guardians desire a certain quality of education for their wards outside the shores of Nigeria, and we would be able to assist them with this product. Our school fees advance loan results from the requests of parents and guardians who need to get short term financial support to meet the tuition obligation of their wards irrespective of the constant increase in fees.
“There’s nothing as heartbreaking as withdrawing a child already in a foreign university or being unable to raise the requisite forex for a child offered admission in a top-rated foreign institution of higher learning. But our school fees advance loan will take care of this problem and help secure the futures of such students – both undergraduates and postgraduates. The fact that you get counsel from the right sources at any particular time is another benefit of this product.
Also, the Managing Director, MOD Education, Michael Dosunmu, expressed gratitude to Wema Bank for the partnership. “Wema Bank has been supportive to us as a business and it was just a natural marriage. We trust the bank enough to bank with them, and our trust is enough to recommend it to others.”
NAIC Pays N1.7bn Claims to Farmers
The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) said it paid a total of N1.7 billion claims to over 5,000 farmers in the past two years.
NAIC, which is the only federal government owned insurance company authorised to offer agric insurance services to farmers at subsidised rate, said a breakdown of the paid claims showed that it paid N856 million to insured farmers in 2019 and N848 million in 2020.
Commenting on the development, NAIC Managing Director, Mrs. Folashade Joseph, said the claims were paid to the farmers to cover losses incurred in the course of doing business.
Joseph, enjoined agricultural investors and lending institutions to continue to partner NAIC by taking agricultural insurance cover that will enable them remain firm in business despite unforeseen circumstances from weather conditions and other risks in order to realise the food security agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said the above-mentioned amount was shared among five million farmers who suffered various setbacks in their farms as a result of natural course.
According to her, the NAIC Agric Insurance Scheme was launched in 1987 by federal government to restore the confidence and productivity of Nigerian farmers who suffered losses as a result of natural disaster such as flood, drought, pest and diseases.
The NAIC boss explained that the essence of the sensitisation campaign embarked by the corporation was to let the farmers know and understand exactly what NAIC does, the importance of insurance, and make them understand how insurance works, how they can access NAIC products and services, how to process their claims, as well as what insurance stands to do for them.
“Agribusiness is evolving fast and so many risks are being thrown up, many new participants are coming into the business of agriculture, and the risks are on the increase if you look at them across the value chain, there is no so many participants so we need to keep sensitising the farmers and let them know we are serving them, and we need to know from them how to serve them,” she explained.
Speaking further, she said, “our assurance to farmers is that when they are insured and they suffer losses covered by any of the policies they purchased, including natural disasters and whatever, they will get paid for their losses, and that is the purpose of insurance and setting up NAIC.
“Our motor is ‘Plowing the Farmer Back to Business, Plowing the Farmers into Prosperity’, and we settle claims.”
She said NAIC currently deals with thousands of farmers (Small, Medium, and Large scale farmers) across the country, adding that the corporation serves farmers with investment as little as N100, 000, and at the same time serves multinational farmers.
UBA Organises Capacity Building Forum
As part of its commitment to support the growth and sustainability of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) in the continent, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is set to organise the next edition of its UBA Business Series.
The UBA Business Series which is a monthly event, is an MSME Workshop as well as a capacity building initiative of the bank where business leaders and professionals share well-researched insights on best practices for running successful businesses, especially in the face of the difficult operating environment that dominates the African business landscape.
Through this initiative, UBA has been assisting with essential tips to help businesses re-examine their models and strategies and ensure that they stay afloat and remain thriving, a statement from the bank explained.
The topic for the next edition of the series is, “Managing Performance for Business Growth,” and it will be held today, via Microsoft Teams.
At this session, the Managing Director, Secure ID Limited, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, will be sharing useful tips and insights on the key strategies of performance management to boost business growth.
Akinkugbe is the founder of SecureID Nigeria, a MasterCard, VISA and Verve certified Smartcard Personalization Bureau and Digital Technology company. She currently serves as the Managing Director/CEO, Secure Card Manufacturing, – a Smartcard manufacturing plant producing high security identity cards and documents for the Banking, Telecoms and Public sectors across Africa and beyond.
UBA’s Head, SME Banking, Sampson Aneke said of Akinkugbe, “with her vast experience garnered over the years from various sectors, she will help business owners understand how performance management strategies can be effectively implemented to ensure business growth.”
He emphasised UBA’s commitment and deep passion for small businesses, which according to him, remains the engine of any developing economy adding, “We know small businesses are the backbone of the economy in every country. In many climes, businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for 98.2 per cent of all businesses. This no doubt captures the importance of SMEs to a thriving economy which is why UBA is committed to seeing them flourish.”
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