Nigeria: Microfinance banks may receive N4.7tr ($30 billion) grant from nine investors
NIGERIAN microfinance banks may soon be recapitalised to the tune of $30 billion about (N4.7 trillion), as nine investors have announced their willingness to inject more fund into the sector.
The $30 billion fund that may come in the form of grants to the banks would be provided by Blue Orchard; Alietheia Capital, Bank of Agriculture (BOA); Patners for Development, Nigeria Capital Development fund, French Development Agency; Proparco; PlaNet Finance, and African Development Bank (AfDB).
The Representative of Blue Orchard Microfinance Investment Managers, Maxime Bouan who spoke to journalist at the on-going first Nigeria International Microfinance Investors Conference yesterday in Abuja, said his company alone was ready to invest $5 million in the sector.
He said, with a population of 160 million people, Nigeria MFB market was the most important sector given the number of people that needs funding.
According to him, the company has already approved $3 million, which would be disbursed to MFBs in a couple of months, adding that the company was planning to double its investment in the banks because of its ability to raise more funds.
The President National Association of Microfinance Bank (NAMB) Jethro Akun in his address disclosed that a Nigerian Microfinance Private Fund institution would be established to collect funds from foreign investors to invests in MFB, which will in turn grant credit facilities to the people.
He maintained that the conference was aimed at bringing foreign investors, who are already investing in MFBs into an organised system to ensure coordinated and organised service delivery in the sector.
Akum noted that the establishment of MFB private fund institution would help in stabilising the sector by alleviating the challenges of liquidity and available refinancing funds for MFB and MFI in the country.
The MFB private fund institution, he said, would also provide the rural dwellers easy access to soft loans, and fast track the attainment of food security.
The Country Representative, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Ms. Atsuko Toda, believed that access to finance could play a crucial role in the agricultural transformation agenda, because farmers have always been looking for credit for the adoption of technologies.
She also emphasised the importance of finance, saying it was necessary to fuel the growth of value chains and creation of job opportunities for the unemployed youths, adding that access to micro finance was crucial for smallholder farmers.
By Joke Akanmu, The Guardian