Nigeria: Rural finance institute woos foreign microfinance investors
By Tina A. Hassan, Daily Trust
The Rural Finance Institute supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said it is organizing a two-day international microfinance conference which would serve as platform for attracting foreign investors.
The conference, scheduled to hold on 18-19th of this month, is expected to enable Nigeria through RUFIN, to access a pool of fund that would be made available to local microfinance banks that would in turn make them available to the rural poor at very negligible interest rates.
Nuhu Danjuma, a consultant with RUFIN said the aim of the conference is to attract foreign microfinance institutions to support local microfinance banks especially those working with RUFIN in rural communities to boost the economic status of the rural poor.
He explained that RUFIN is working on a number of microfinance institutions to support grassroots communities which are largely farmers, to have access to funds and empower them economically but the demand for such fund is beyond the capacity of the small banks.
“The conference will serve as a forum for bringing microfinance investors all over the world to invest in microfinance banks in Nigeria as well as showcase their goods and services.
One of the benefits of this conference is that it would increase access to rural finance and reduce lending rate to the rural poor,” he said.
President of the National Association of Microfinance Banks, Mr. Jethro Akum said funds pooled from the investors would be registered as private funds that would be accessed by microfinance institutions dealing with grass root people as well as Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
He said the fund is a partner’s development fund that would be called microfinance private fund.