The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is gearing up to provide N5 billion to 20,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in its first full year of operation on a sustainable basis, its Managing Director, Tony Okpanachi, has said.
He said the lending started in November 2017 with loans to three of the largest microfinance banks in the country.
“DBN management is taking this phenomenal responsibility very seriously and we are determined to ensure that serious entrepreneurs get the support they need to grow so that the positive impact is felt in their businesses and the economy as a whole,” he said.
On repayment terms for DBN loans, Okpanachi said the institution will “provide funds for up to 10 years in terms of actual repayment period but when necessary we also provide a moratorium of up to 18 months.”
He said DBN loan cuts across all sectors of the economy. “Our mandate and operations seek to achieve the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), where financial inclusion ranks high, as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and are in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
He said another step taken by the bank was the recent shortlisting of seven banks for loan disbursement to entrepreneurs across the country who meet the requirements.
The initial banks whose number is expected to be boosted by others currently being processed include commercial banks - Wema, Ecobank, Sterling, Diamond, Fidelity, UBA, and FCMB.
The microfinance banks include - Microcred, Infinity, NPF, Bosak, Fortis, Hasal, AB, Seedvest, Parallex, Addosser, and LaFayette.