The Nigeria Association of Microfinance Banks on Monday called on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to diversify the nation’s economy.
The association’s national President, Mr Valentine Whensu, who made this known in an interview said that the diversification of the economy would `take of fears’ associated with drop in international oil price.
He said other sectors of the economy such as Microfinance Banks could be empowered to contribute more to the nation’s economic growth.
“Improved access to financial services for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will hasten growth in the informal sector,” he said. “It will also help eliminate the bottlenecks on loan acquisitions and provide growth opportunities for MSMEs and lower income clients to foster job creation and economic growth,” he said
He commended the Federal Government and international organisations for support so far given to microfinance banks in the country.
The president commended the Federal Government for launching N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Funds (MSME) to boost entrepreneurial development.
According to him, the Federal Government has disclosed that nine states have already accessed part of the N220 billion SMSE fund.
“It is interesting to note that 19 more states have completed the process and are at the stage of accessing the fund.
“You may also wish to know that 80 per cent of the states that have accessed or that will access the fund channeled or will channel it through microfinance banks to the grassroots.
He said that microfinance banks were playing a major role in building the economy from the grassroots.
“Just as the local governments are created to take governance closer to the people, microfinance banks are established to get banking services closer to the grassroots.
“We ensure that those who cannot get loans from the big banks with collaterals are able to get loans in an easy manner from us and start their small business.’’
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