The Chief Executive Officer of the Development Bank of Nigeria Plc, Tony Okpanachi, has revealed that the bank has disbursed N400bn to Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria in the last four years.
The CEO of the state owned development bank revealed this on Tuesday during the virtual second Annual Lecture Series of the DBN.
With the theme,- ‘Resilient Innovation: MSMEs’ adaptability in Uncertain Times,’ Okpanachi said that the DBN has lived up to its mandate by championing the provision of funds for the country’s small and medium businesses.
He said, “As a bank, we have championed this cause through all our three mandates of providing long term financing, capacity building and partial credit guarantees over the years.
“Since commencing operations in 2017, we have disbursed over N400bn in loans to over 150,000 Nigerian SMEs out of which 27 per cent are women owned and 26 per cent new owned businesses respectively. This has led to the creation of over 130,000 jobs.
“In the year 2020 alone, the sum of N190bn was disbursed through 19 PFIs out of which N9.8bn was to 6,935 first time borrowers, N5.7bn to 9,066 youths, N11.8bn to 25,171 women owned businesses.
“Cumulatively, 83 per cent reported an increase in their sales after obtaining the loan, while 48 per cent were able to increase their staff strength after receiving the facility.
“Additionally, 125 MSMEs were also trained as part of our capacity building initiative through the DBN Entrepreneurship Training Programme which was held in Abuja and Lagos.”
He said the 2021 DBN Training programme has commenced, adding that it is financed by the DBN under the platform of Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, Google and Wider Perspectives Ltd.
He explained that the rationale behind the bank’s interest in SMEs was because “big things have small beginnings.”
In Nigeria, small businesses account for 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, as their numbers have risen above 41 million, according to Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum.