The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide a special N250 billion intervention fund for micro, small and medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country to support the ongoing economic recovery agenda of the government.
The outgoing President of the association, Mr Rogers Nwoke, made the call during the association’s 10th Annual General Meeting held virtually in Abuja.
Nwoke, stated that the central bank on its sundry measures to fast-track the nation’s economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, pointed out that since the N50 billion intervention fund now being disbursed by NIRSAL MFB cannot adequately meet the needs of MSMEs nationwide, the need for additional funding for the enterprises had become imperative.
The chartered banker said in view of the critical roles MFBs have on the MSMEs and micro development of the country, the proposed N250 billion should be disbursed through qualified MFBs.
He said: “The role of government in microfinance is to provide an enabling environment for private capital to thrive and where the government chooses to intervene in funding, such intervention must be appropriately distributed to critical stakeholders.
“Let me use this opportunity to renew our request for a N250 billion to MSMEs to be disbursed through qualifying microfinance banks”, the NAMB President added.
This is even as he urged the CBN to extend the MFBs’ recapitalisation deadline to 2023, by which time the regulator would be in a position to properly appraise the level of capital that support the operations of all MFBs in the country.
In his comments at the AGM, the CBN Director, Development Finance Department, represented by Dr. Ada Momoh, commended the NAMB for its efforts to deepen financial inclusion, particularly through funding of MSMEs over the past few years in spite of the risks.