The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), has announced plans to disburse N150 billion to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country in 2023.
Chief Economist in DBN, Prof. Joseph Nnanna, said this in a media interview on Monday.
Nnanna said that the disbursement would be done through participating financial institutions for onward lending to MSMEs across various sectors of the economy.
Objective on track
While noting that the objective is to enlist 120,000 MSMEs in 2023, Nnanna said:
“I think we are on track to get there so we have a target to disburse around N150 billion this year and so far we are making some good progress but the year isn’t over yet and the state of the economy is a bit in flux.
“A lot of Nigerians are challenged, a lot of businesses are challenged, the interest rate is increasing and as a result, we know that these business owners will need some able room to breathe.”
He, however, said that DBN had recorded growth in the MSME sector with the increasing employment rate.
“If you look at what we have done across the country, we have been able to impact over 300, 000 MSMEs, and this cuts across trade, education, manufacturing, agriculture, and ICT.
“By and large, we have seen some growth across the MSME space because we measure the job creation levels of the money we disburse through our participating financial institutions. Over 240, 000 jobs have been created so far and that is commendable,’’ he said.
Appeal to financial institutions
Nnanna urged the participating financial institutions to provide the needed aid for MSMEs to continue to grow amidst the prevailing economic challenges in the country.
According to him, the bank was aware that they were trying to create jobs even while the economy was facing challenges.
He said the high interest rates and uncertainty in the agriculture sector given that the Cameroon government is going to open up the dam is also another challenge that might increase flooding risks which will basically damage a lot of crop production.
“Consequently, I sincerely believe there is probably more now than ever development financial institutions have to spring into action to come to their aid. So, our commercial banks and microfinance banks will surely intervene and support those actors in their space who need some cushion to continue to grow,’’ Nnanna said.
The economist said that DBN would strengthen collaborations with stakeholders in the sector to achieve its target of financial inclusion.
According to him, with support from the regulators, with partner institutions, the bank would be seeking more collaborations to achieve inclusive growth.
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