Ajogwu Jerry with Agency News
Nigeria’s apex bank, (CBN) has vowed to initiate a pathway to the economic empowerment of micro-entrepreneurs, including women, through microfinance institutions.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this in Gombe at the 27th Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors.
The theme of the seminar was: “Repositioning Micro-Finance Banks for Real Sector Growth”.
Emefiele, represented by CBN Deputy Governor, Mr. Edward Adamu, said the bank was concerned about increasing access to financial services for the economically active poor to enhance job creation, as well as poverty reduction.
He said the CBN recently carried out some reforms in the microfinance sub sector with the aim of increasing the share of micro credit to at least 20 per cent of Nigerians by 2020.
“By increasing access to credit and related services to the economically active segment of the low income population, microfinance directly contributes to expanding the production base of the economy.
“Microfinance banks are conceived to serve as critical financial lubricants for the real sector; which is the pillar of sustained economic growth,” he said.
The Governor of Gombe, Ibrahim Dankwambo, said despite the low amount the state received from the federation account, it had been able to utilise it efficiently.
The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Charles Iliya, said, “We thank the CBN for some of its initiatives, especially in agriculture, which members of the state have benefited from.
Speaking earlier, the CBN Director, Corporate Communication, Isaac Okorafor, said the seminar was organised for financial reporters to update them on the activities and interventions of the apex bank.
The CBN, on April 29, 2011, revised the Microfinance Policy Framework to improve access of micro-entrepreneurs and low income households to financial services.
A state MFB is authorised to operate in one state with a capital of at least N100m, while the national MFB can operate in more than one state and requires a capital of at least N2bn.
The CBN also created the National Collateral Registry (NCR) which allows the use of movable assets like jewelry, livestock and equipment as collateral to access loans from financial institutions. (NAN)