The Managing Director Jaiz Bank Plc, Hassan Usman has said the bank is set to commence disbursement of the $20 million (about N6.1 billion) interest-free loan to the operators in the Small and Medium Enterprises sector before 2019.
Speaking to newsmen on the planned disbursement, Usman, stated that the $20 million facility was secured from Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector (ICD), the development arm of Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
The agreement signed between Jaiz Bank and ICD in March this year was meant to finance Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. The line of financing would cover sectors such as industry, communications, technology, health, manufacturing, agriculture among others.
“We believe that before the end of this year, we would have done if not all of the disbursement of the $20m but substantial part would have gone before the end of this year.”
He said the bank had commenced a five year strategic plan to enable it provide better services to its customers.
For instance, be said the bank had increased its visibility in Lagos by opening more branches, adding that this would be extended to other regions of the country.
“We are having a balance sheet size that is growing by 20 per cent year-on-year and our branch network has increased from 27 to 32 and we hope to increase this to 40 branches before the end of the year.”
On funding for agriculture, he said that the Central Bank of Nigeria had reviewed it’s framework of the commercial agricultural credit scheme to accommodate the funding structure of the bank.
“The Central Bank and the Federal Government has been trying to ensure that financing get to the farmers. To address the challenges, they came up with the Anchor Borrower Scheme and similar scheme.”