..As NIRSAL MfB disburses N18bn in yr
COMFORT EKELEME, Asst. Business Editor
To further bridge the infrastructure gap in the country, the Bankers Committee Tuesday said that the federal government has extended invitation to the committee of bankers to consider the possibility of Public Private partnership (PPP) in bridging the infrastructural gap.
The committee disclosed that it would come up with a framework which it would share with government, adding that once there is an agreement, it would be able to forge ahead.
The committee also discussed a number of typical issues relating to the industry, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) measure to increase lending to the private sector, which one of the driving policies was the Loan to Deposit Ration (LDR) and the successes recorded on the LDR policy and urged the bank to continue to grow credits because they still have sufficient room to be able to do that.
Meanwhile they equally reviewed the performance of NIRSAL Microfinance bank, how it has been able to impact on the lower segment of the society and also the government extended.
Briefing Newsmen in Lagos at the end of the 348 meeting of the bankers committee, Director, Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bello Hassan it is to that extent that the committee considered coming in to see how it can finance about four roads in the country.
On the structure of the financing, he said, the offer was just made by government and the bankers just discussed it and it is too early in the day to discuss how this structure is going to be. “The committee has already set up a small sub-committee to look at the modalities and also engage the government so as to know the way forward.
Also speaking, Managing Director of FSDH Merchant Bank, Mrs. Hamda Ambah said, “when the invitation that was issued to the committee through the CBN Governor was discussed at the meeting, we all agreed that government alone cannot provide all the infrastructure in the country, that we in the private sector have to work hand in hand with government to ensure that the infrastructure that this country needs to move ahead is provided.
“ With that in mind, what was agreed was that. we create a small committee among the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to work with the CBN to identify those roads where we would like to participate and come up with a framework which we would share with government and once we have an agreement, we would be able to forge ahead.” She said.
Also speaking, Acting Managing Director, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (MfB), Mr. Abubakar Abdulahi Kure said the bank has so far disbursed a total of N18 billion, of which 30 per cent went to agriculture followed by manufacturing then fashion.
He said, the idea is that there is need to build capacity for Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs), stressing that if funds are given without capacity development, they might not be able to manage the funds.
“We are still using post office, currently, we are already in conjunction with Nigerian Post office to assimilate financial inclusion. We all know that NIPOST has branches all over the countries and we are leveraging on them instead of building structures that would be very costly. We are up scaling those offices to banking level and as a banking outlet to provide all the necessary infrastructure.
“The current agenda to increase the branches to about 120 across the country, of course we are leveraging on the post office and that is why the bankers committee has supported us by increasing their credit capital so we can use it to funding the assets we have acquired. The idea is basically to ensure that that those at the lower pyramid have access to finance, while we also ensure financial stability and micro finance.
Managing Director, Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman noted that the bankers committee is looking in many ways to support government and the society whether it is increasing the level of credit to the private sector and real sector of the economy, or working with NIRSAL and other banks to increase financial Inclusion or specifically intervening in infrastructure.
According to him, these are steps being taken to ensure that government is supported to drive grow in this economy, reduce unemployment and also improve the security of the nation.
For a better society