The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has stated that it intends to distribute ₦150 billion to Micro, Small, and Medium-sized (MSMEs) businesses across the country this year (2023).
DBN’s head economist, Joseph Nnanna, spoke with NAN in Abuja.
Nnanna stated that the funds would be distributed through participating financial institutions for onward lending to MSMEs in various sectors of the economy.
He went on to say that the goal is to enroll 120,000 MSMEs by 2023.
“I think we are on track to get there so we have a target to disburse around ₦150 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 influx,” Nnanna said.
“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.”
Nnanna, on the other hand, stated that the bank had seen growth in the MSME sector as the employment rate increased.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
Nnanna urged the participating financial institutions to provide the necessary support for MSMEs to continue growing in the face of the country’s current economic challenges.
“We know we are trying to create jobs and we know that the economy is a bit challenged now, the high interest rates and uncertainty with the agriculture sector given that the Cameroon government is going to open up the dam.
“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.”
In response to the goals for financial inclusion, the bank’s top economist stated that more collaborations with sector stakeholders would be formed in order to meet the target.
“With support from the regulators, our partner institutions; we need support broadly because in the end, I will restate that we suddenly need to collaborate more to achieve inclusive growth,” he said.
He stated that without collaboration, “someone will feel cheated whether it is in the MSME lanes, commercial or microfinance bank lanes.”