By Tajudeen Atitebi
The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) says it has disbursed N13.364 billion loans in the first year of its operations.
Its Chief Executive, Mr Tony Okpanachi, told Business Editors in Lagos on Thursday that the bank, which started operations in November 2018, gave the loans to 35,000 borrowers of which 73 per cent were women.
Okpanachi said that the beneficiaries were mostly operators in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
He said that 32.78 per cent of the loans went to those in the trade, 19.15 per cent to those in agriculture, 17.4 per cent to those in construction, while 1.3 per cent went to the education sector.
Okpanachi, however, said that the bank’s loans were not sector specific.
He said the bank intended to give N70 billion in loans in 2019, adding that it has capacity to give I.3 billion dollars as loans.
Okpanachi said that the bank was working in partnership with some international development banks like the World Bank, African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.
He said that the bank’s loans were being given out to beneficiaries as on-lending through third party financial institutions.
Okpanachi explained that the bank started with two of such institutions- LAPO and NPF Microfinance Bank- but the number had increased to 29.
He said that the bank could not give single-digit interest loans as the loans were not intervention funds, but being priced to associated risks appropriately.
“What matters is the sustainability of the loans. As you continue to give out the loans on sustainable basis, their prices will fall,” the said.
The bank chief executive said that the bank was also into capacity development to make the impact of its loans to be felt.
He said that the bank was partnering SMEDAN on capacity building alongside some other private sector players.
Okpanachi said that the bank had also participated in some clinics organised by the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME).
He said that the bank had just concluded a monitoring and evaluation exercise of its loans to ensure the loans were appropriately applied.
The chief executive said that the bank would soon establish a wholly-owned subsidiary to guarantee loans to end users. (NAN)