By Cynthia Ezekwe.
The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has unveiled plans to disburse N150 billion to about 120,000 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country in 2023.
Joseph Nnanna, chief economist in DBN, made this known recently in a media interview, noting that the disbursement would be done through participating financial institutions for onward lending to MSMEs across various sectors of the economy.
“A lot of Nigerians are challenged, a lot of businesses are challenged, the interest rate is increasing and as a result we know that these business owners will need some able room to breathe,’’ Nnanna said.
However, he noted that DBN had recorded growth in the MSME sector with the increasing employment rate despite the challenging business environment.
“By and large we have seen some growth across the MSME space because we measure the job creation levels of the money we disburse through our participating financial institutions. If you look at what we have done across the country, we have been able to impact over 300,000 MSMEs and this cuts across trade, education, manufacturing, agriculture and ICT. Over 240, 000 jobs have been created so far and that is commendable,” the chief economist said.
Nnanna urged the participating financial institutions to provide the needed aid for MSMEs to continue to grow amidst the prevailing economic challenges in the country.
The economist said that DBN would strengthen collaborations with stakeholders in the sector to achieve its target on financial inclusion.
“With support from the regulators, with support from our partner institutions; we need support broadly because in the end I will restate that we suddenly need to collaborate more to achieve inclusive growth.
“So we have to collaborate, we have to keep on revisiting the things that are working and tweaking them to ensure they are fit for purpose that ultimately becomes the key to success,’’ Nnanna added.