By Yinka Kolawole
Managing Director of Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Tony Okpanachi, has been counseling owners of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria on how to access funds from the bank.
Speaking at the recently concluded SMEs Clinic in Lokoja, Kogi State, Okpanachi pointed out that as a development finance institution (DFI), funds can only be accessed from DBN through commercial banks, microfinance banks and other licensed financial institutions.
The SMEs Clinic was launched in the State by the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Okpanachi noted that MSMEs are the driving force behind every local and foreign economy, reiterating the bank’s commitment towards providing enabling environment for businesses in the country to access required funding.
He told the entrepreneurs: “To ensure you are getting the best deal for your business, let me share with you how to access funds from DBN. The bank is a wholesale DFI which means DBN funds can only be accessed through your commercial banks, microfinance banks or any other licensed financial institutions we do business with. We are currently on the verge of on-boarding several microfinance banks and deposit money banks to ensure full coverage of the country to access our loans.
“DBN is an institution that cares deeply about the MSMEs segment and we are taking steps to find ways to collaborate with several stakeholders within our industry to ensure you entrepreneurs, farmers, traders and small business owners have access to loans that can help you grow your business. We shall be publishing the names of the participating financial institutions as we sign them.”
The DBN boss further disclosed: “Our lending activities officially kicked off on October 30th, 2017, by making available N5 billion for on-lending to 20,000 MSMEs across the country through three micro finance banks. So far, we have been able to track the disbursed funds through the MFBs and we are already beginning to see the impact in each sector. For instance, we have activities ongoing in Trade and Commerce, Education, Real Estate Activities and Agriculture.
“Additionally, we have seen that of the funds disbursed, men have accessed 69 percent while women have accessed 31 percent. I believe more women should access our loans as women have been doing a great job of managing their small businesses well in this state.
“In the past, we have seen other development financial institutions try to make an impact in the economy with mixed results. As you entrepreneurs, small business owners, farmers, traders from this State must already know, accessing finance from banks can be challenging. I am sure many of you have found it difficult to get longer tenor funding for your businesses. There was a need to fill that gap.”