The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has revealed it would commence a national Micro Finance Bank (MFB) in a bid to enhance financial inclusion and enhance credit to fund Agricultural sector and small and medium scale (SME).
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele said this at the opening ceremony of the 10th annual bankers’ committee retreat in Lagos.
Emefiele said the national MFB slated to launch in January would leverage on the existing NIPOST presence in 774 local and aide the CBN and the bankers committee effort in accessing the Anchor borrowers fund, SME fund and other initiatives tailored towards SMEs, farmers and the CBN’s financial inclusion drive.
He also said this was to help ensure the success of the N26billion set aside to finance agric businesses and other small informal businesses under the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
Emefiele said: “Today, the central bank has N220 billion that is set aside under the micro small and medium enterprise fund. Nigerians where happy when they heard that the banks out of their magnanimity decided that 5 per cent of their profit would be set aside to support Agric business and SMEs.
We have over N60 billion sitting in the banks currently in CBN and why should that money be sitting in CBN and just be earning treasury bill rates. It is meant for the micro small and medium enterprises and for the weak in our economy that would not ordinarily have access to knock at your door.”
On investments towards power, he said: “In collaboration with the government, the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility was set up to rescue and reset the electricity industry for privatization in 2015. The CBN in line with the proposal establishing the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility invested N213 billion in it. The aim was to provide refinance for the participating banks and also to ensure that necessary bank guarantees are put in place to back the contracts for the industry.”