DBN moves to deepen financial inclusion for MSMEs

The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has resolved to pull resources together and channel collaborative efforts toward building the capacity of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Northern Nigeria, improving their access to finance to revitalize their operations.

The bank disclosed this during its MSMEs second summit in Kano. The choice of Kano was informed by the economic importance of the great city of Kano to commercial activities in northern Nigeria, the bank added.

The managing director/CEO, of the Development Bank of Nigeria, Tony Okpanachi, in his opening remarks accentuated the importance of the MSMEs to the socio-economic development of the region and the country. According to him, “It has become imperative for us to pull resources together and channel collaborative efforts towards building the capacity of the MSMSE as a way revitalizing their operations to address the challenge of access to finance. This will guarantee their growth and boost the economic potentials of this critical sub-sector.”

Commenting further, Okpanachi stated that the summit is one of DBN’s stakeholder engagement strategies aimed at creating awareness around its mandate of providing access to finance, capacity building, and partial credit guarantees to the MSMEs in Nigeria. “This is important because they play a crucial role in accelerating economic growth through poverty alleviation, job, and wealth creation,” he added.

Okpanachi highlighted that “according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria have contributed about 48 percent of the national GDP in the last five years. With a total number of about 17.4 million, they account for about 50 percent of industrial jobs and nearly 90 percent of the manufacturing sector”.

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He further noted that though significant growth has been achieved in the MSME sector, there is still much to be done. He explained that Kano plays a major economic role in the northern business terrain and the challenges that MSMEs have to contend with are not different from those faced internationally which include access to finance, value chains, and markets.

He noted that a PwC report in 2020 identified obtaining finance, finding customers, and infrastructure deficits as the most pressing problems of MSMEs in Nigeria. “It is therefore pertinent for us as a bank to champion the conversation on how MSMEs can win despite these challenges, by exposing ways through which MSMEs can benefit from our sustainable financial offerings,” he said.

“Hosting this event in Kano is apt as it will help us better understand the financial constraints faced by MSMEs in the state.” He concluded with a commitment that, “DBN will continue to work towards building the capacity of MSMEs, eliminating the financing constraints faced by this sector of the economy and transforming them into instruments of positive and sustained change,” he added.

The Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje represented by the Head of Service, Usman Mohammed, shared his goodwill message at the summit, stating that the summit coincides with the Kano state development plan aimed at accelerating industrial growth which in turn will provide an enabling environment for commerce to thrive and for the economy to grow.

He further urged entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the summit to seek solutions to their business challenges.

In his keynote address, Tajudeen Dantata, CEO of Dantata Foods said; “for us to discuss inclusive financing, we must recognize the important role of the MSMEs as key players in the Nigerian economy, the role of the DBN working in conjunction with their participating financial institutions in addressing the financial constraints faced by the MSMEs”.

He went further to elaborate on the synergies that must exist in the financial and the MSME ecosystem as a key factor to addressing sustainable funding challenges faced by entrepreneurs with a call on DBN to take the bull by the horn by providing the much-needed financial inclusion leadership needed in the region by setting aside tailored made funding solutions that takes cognizance of the peculiarity of this part of the country. This he emphasized, will complement the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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