The FBN Microfinance Bank Ltd has so far disbursed N150 million as loans to customers since inception in September 2008, its Managing Director, Mrs Pauline Nsa, has said. Nsa said on Tuesday in Lagos that the bankâ€™s customers were engaged in various trade and profession. â€œOur customers are not only artisans and petty traders, but we also have large food companies, farmers and those from the segments usually ignored by the big banks,â€™â€™ she said.
The FBN Microfinance Bank, according to Nsa, has six branches within Lagos State.â€œWe now have branches at Agege, Bariga, Ikotun, Broad Street, Matori and Ikorodu.Before the end of 2009, we plan to open six new branches at Oko Oba, Iyana Ipaja and Ajah,â€™â€™ she said.Nsa said that the FBN Microfinance bank had a branch network target of 10,000 nationwide.â€œWhen we opened our Agege branch, for instance, the whole place was crowded,â€™â€™ she recalled.Nsa noted that microfinance banks are set up to assist both the rural and urban poor with access to credit.She said that such pockets of assistance were expected to improve the national economy through policies that would enhance poverty alleviation.
According to her, microfinance banks have been able to assist about 60 per cent of those adversely affected by the economic meltdown. â€œWith the global meltdown, many people have been displaced from their regular jobs.â€œThe Microfinance banks have been able to assist in the re-integration of such individuals into the national economy through the promotion of small and medium-scale businesses,â€™â€™ she said.