The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) has advocated the need for the monetary authorities to broaden their policy scope towards improved funding of the Nation’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The President of the association, Malam Yusuf Gyallesu, stated this while speaking with Newsmen on how best the MFBs could be better funded to improve their contributions to the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) after close to two years of COVID-19-triggered slowdown.
Gyallesu spoke on the backdrop of NAMB’s recently concluded, 11th Annual General Meeting in Abuja.
He commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for it’s various intervention initiatives to support the MSMEs over the years.
He suggested that, new funds for the sub sector could come in the form of interventions, specifically designed and targeted at the MSMEs to be routed through MFBs.
He urged the apex bank to foster linkages between the Deposit Money banks, Development banks and other Specialized Financial Institutions, to enable MFBs boost productivity of MSMEs.
“What the microfinance sub sector needs now is funding to be able to support MSMEs.
“This funding can come in form of intervention, specifically designed and targeted at the MSMEs to be routed through MFBs.
“Another avenue is for CBN to foster linkages between the Deposit Money banks, Development banks and other specialized financial institutions such that MFBs can source wholesale funds and refinancing facilities from them.
“This is to widen their outreach and for on-lending to the MSMEs at relatively cheaper costs,” he said.
The NAMB President urged the CBN to establish a Microfinance Sector Development Fund to provide necessary support for the development of the sub sector.
“Such support can be in terms of refinancing facility, capacity building, and other promotional activities,” he added.
Commenting on the recent intervention by the National Assembly which resulted in the shifting of the recapitalization deadline for the MFBs, Gyallesu noted that the intervention was timely and a welcomed development.
“Even though it was persuasive to CBN, it came as a reprieve to our members who are now doubling their efforts to mobilize for additional capital,” he said.
He described the increasing penetration of the rural areas by mobile banking operators and agents as a welcomed development, which is creating opportunities for collaborations and partnerships with the mobile money companies.
According to him, these companies have their infrastructure and need platforms with existing customer base to deploy their services.
Speaking on the NAMBs membership verification exercise of licensed MFBs, Gyallesu disclosed that the exercise had been concluded.
He added that the findings partly informed the NAMB’s decision to appeal to CBN to review the minimum recapitalization amounts downward and extend the dateline to 2025 in order to enable most of the weak MFBs comply.