The Development Bank of Nigeria has shortlisted nine financial institutions through which its intervention fund will be disbursed to entrepreneurs in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector.
They are five commercial banks, Wema Bank, Ecobank, Sterling Bank, Diamond Bank and Fidelity Bank; and four microfinance banks made up of MicroCredit, Infinity, Busack and Fortis.
The Managing Director, DBN, Mr. Tony Okpanachi disclosed this during a chat with journalists in Abuja.
The Federal Government had created the DBN to confront financing difficulties hindering private sector investment in the country.
The bank is to play an important and catalytic role in providing funding and risk sharing facilities to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
The DBN MD said the target of the bank was to provide long-term funding to about 20,000 MSMEs operators in the first year of full operation, adding that it was making progress on meeting that target.
Okpanachi stated, “We have started bringing on board some commercial banks; we have also made lines available to them, so that as they come, we draw down the line. But I am glad to tell you that we have almost nine currently on our list, both commercial and microfinance banks; and between now and the end of June, we expect more commercial banks.
“So, as the commercial banks come up, knowing they have more of the volumes, we will hear more from them.”
Okpanachi said the DBN would simplify its loan application processes to enable more entrepreneurs in the MSMEs have access to its intervention fund.
He said the need for the bank to simply its loan procedures was to enable it to provide the much needed long-term funding for small business owners.
He stated, “The PFIs (Primary Finance Institutions) do the credit appraisal, which we can’t get involved with. But when it gets to the DBN side, unlike other institutions, it is with speed.
“In terms of interfacing with customers directly, we won’t do, the banks will do that. We are already thinking of products to address start-ups, to address women and others, with specific features, we will still engage the PFIs to bring the clients to access the products.
“Ultimately, we want to collaborate with the commercial banks and the microfinance banks so the reach will be everywhere. There will be serious campaigns so, a lot of Nigerians are aware.”