Nirsal Microfinance Bank Operations Starts This February
Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) business in Nigerian is about to witness great relief as the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), is set to launch its National Microfinance Bank (MFB) this February. This is to serve business fund deficit, experienced by Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) businesses owners.
Microfinance Arena made this announcement known late last year of the plan by the CBN, NIPOST with support from the Bankers committee to lunch a new national microfinance banks in Nigeria.
Nirsal microfinance banks intention is to reach about 400,000 MSMEs in the first two years of its operations, while setting other targets as soon as the first is met.
Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, NIRSAL MFB (NMFB) Chairman, hints on the plan to start operation simultaneously across all six geopolitical zones in the country with the flagship branch located in Gwagwalada, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria.
Apart from this, other pilot location are; Bauchi, Ibadan, Kaduna, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Lokoja Nipost offices. Other office locations in other parts of the six political zones would be a continuous process as the intention is to make sure the outlets cover all the 774 Local Government in the country.
In the words of Nirsal Chairman “the new bank as a game-changer that will complement and support the existing structures and players in the sector to better serve millions of small entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers in the country”.
Another prominent individual, Dr. Steve Olusegun Ogidan, the national coordinating consultant for NIRSAL MFB, made the objective of the project known, and this is to drive and deepen financial inclusion which ultimately provide easy access credit to MSME. All in a bid to reduce the level of unemployment in rural areas and reduce rural-urban migration.
The three bodies behind the formation of Nirsal Microfinance bank namely; the Bankers Committee, NIRSAL, and the Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST all have equity stakes. The Bankers committee owns 50 percent of the bank set-up equity capital. Nirsal owns 40 percent while NIPOST owns 10.
In the words of Dr. Steve Olusegun Ogidan “the MFB is in strategic partnership with NIPOST with a view to leverage on NIPOST’s widespread offices, while NIRSAL would bring to bear its expertise and experience in financing low-income entrepreneurs and de-risking of credits originated by the MFB by providing guarantees in line with its mandate.”
One thing should be clear in the minds of concerned Nigerians. Nirsal is not in any way created to compete with other microfinance institution and should not be seen as a money spinning outlet, rather is was established to complement the services of microfinance institutions which services are still widely regarded as sustaining but not adequately serving the needs of micro-entrepreneurs. This will also create jobs for thousands of qualified microfinance professional who will be employed to take up available position.