Nigeria: Fortis MFB plans raise N7bn to strengthen capital base
The Fortis Micro Finance bank has concluded plans to raise N7 billion from the capital market to strengthen its capital base and enhance customers confidence in it.
The Managing Director, Kunle Oketikun, disclosed the plan in an interview on Saturday.
Oketikun said that there was the need for the bank to raise more money to enable it service its various customers, as “there is no limit to what the bank can do”.
He said that insufficient funds had made a lot of Nigerians to lose confidence in the micro-finance banks, adding that they rarely invested in micro-finance banks due to fear of insecurity.
Oketikun said, “We are doing all we can by way of advocacy and engaging the services of the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to move the bank forward.
“There is always a lot of misconception about micro-finance banks, there is nothing to stop us from being a reliable and strong bank; but the challenge before us is low capital base.
“Micro-finance banks in the country are not part of the high profit making banks in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“However, Fortis Micro-Finance Bank is trying to raise N7 billion at the moment as part of the initiatives to strengthen its capital base.
“This will go a long way for the bank to redouble its services to numerous customers and come up with new programmes to assist the customers.”
Oketikun, who is also the Vice-President of National Association of Micro-Finance Banks (NAMB) said micro- finance banks in the country had concluded plans to improve their standards.
According to him, this is to encourage people to invest in the banks.
He said that more than 40,000 rural women in the Federal Capital Territory had benefited from the micro-credit scheme of finance banks, as part of the initiatives to alleviate poverty.
“These rural women were trained in various trades such as pottery, beads making, knitting, as well as tie and dye under the apprenticeship/skill acquisition schemes,” the managing director said.
He urged Nigerians to invest in micro- finance banks, and said, “the future is very bright for micro-finance banks in Nigeria’’.
Oketikun said that NAMB carried out training programmers in order to build the capacity of their workers and to proffer ways to serve their customers better.
He expressed optimism that the new innovation in the banks would move them forward.
SOURCE: Business Day Online