NIRSAL to unveil MFB in February

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural
Lending (NIRSAL) is set to launch its MicroFinance bank in February.

The launch is scheduled to take place simultaneously across the six
geopolitical zones in the country and at the flagship branch in
Gwagwalada, FCT.

The other pilot locations are locations are: Bauchi, Ibadan, Kaduna,
Enugu, Port Harcourt and Lokoja NIPOST offices.

The rollout would further continue in other parts of the country
eventually reaching all 774 Local Government Areas in the country.

The new MFB is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Bankers’
Committee, NIRSAL, and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

The MFB is expected to provide a stong financial base for micro, small
and medium enterprises as well as deepen financial inclusion and
access to finance to rural, unbanked and underbanked areas of Nigeria.

According to a statement signed by National Coordinating Consultant,
NIRSAL MFB, Dr. Steve Olusegun Ogidan, the NMFB is projected to reach
an estimated 400,000 SMEs within its first two years of operation.

He said: “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.

“As part of this strategy, NIPOST’s post offices located across the
nation will provide easily accessible offices to urban and rural
Nigerians,” the statement said.

Speaking on the development, the Chairman, NIRSAL, MFB, Mr. Aliyu
Abdulhameed described the new bank as the game-changer which will
complement and support the existing structures and players in the
sector to better serve the millions of small entrepreneurs and
smallholder farmers in the country.

“The mission and strategy of NMFB are focused on making significant,
sustainable and measurable impact on small businesses across Nigeria
and, by extension, on the lives of millions of Nigerians dependent on
them in the overall interest of the economy. The bank will work with
all relevant partners, stakeholders and players to achieve this.”

The objectives of the bank will include driving and deepening
financial inclusion, providing easy access to credit and other
financial services to SMEs, reducing unemployment rate in the rural
areas, and reducing rural-urban migration.

UNI Agric Markurdi
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