Caption: From left, Idris Salihu, Head of Corporate Services, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Chima Titus Nwokoji, National Chairman, Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria ( FICAN), Olukayode Olubiyi Head, Digital Banking, United Bank for Africa, Bashir A. Nuhu, Director, Communication & Public Affairs Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Bola Enigbokan Divisional Head Enterprise Support, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) and Group Head, Media and External Relations UBA, Nasir Rahman, at the 2023 annual conference of FICAN held in Lagos over the weekend.
The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), at the weekend in Lagos called on stakeholders within and outside the country to collaborate with it in the task of funding Macro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises within the country.
In a goodwill message at the 2023 annual conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos, Managing Director of the development finance institution, Tony Okpanachi, the Managing Director/Chief Executive said the need for partnership in addressing the needs of the over 37m MSMEs in the country, contributing over 50% to GDP, but barely able to access credit. Today, he said, the funding gap in the MSME space has grown to about N3tr.
Based on this reality, Okpanachi, who was represented by Idris Salihu, Head, Corporate Services of DBN added that “there is a lot of room for collaboration by development finance institutions operating in the country.”
The capital base of DBN, he continued, is not enough, just as combine those of other institutions like the Bank of Industry (BoI), and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), among others.
Commenting on the recent hoopla over the distribution of the various financial intermediation efforts of DBN across the country, Salihu reminded all that DBN is a wholesale DFI that does not deal directly with beneficiaries of its interventions directly.
On the bank’s operating mode, he said: “We have to go through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), open lines of credit and disburse through the PFIs.”
He noted that although MSMEs in Lagos account for 46% of its total disbursements as announced recently, he argued that the business funded in the nation’s business and financial capital were also owned by Nigerians from other geopolitical zones of the country, but operating from Lagos.
“The MSMEs in Lagos are not all Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo, because there are entrepreneurs from other states in Lagos,” he added.
To address the seeming lopsidedness, despite this, he assured that DBN is already partnering non-interest financial institutions in the country to reach those Nigerians practicing ethical (interest-free) banks like Jaiz, and TAJ, among others.
“The task of DBN is to contribute to economic growth and development,” in line with its objective of alleviating financing constraints faced by MSMEs and small Corporates in Nigeria through the provision of financing and partial credit guarantees to eligible financial intermediaries on a market-conforming and fully financially sustainable basis, Salihu stressed further.