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Microfinance operator seeks more investors

In an effort to step up the developmental process of the country through financing, a Microfinance operator has appeals for more investors as he said the sector needed more investors to give more loans to the active poor.

Mrs Olubunmi Lawson, Chief Executive Officer of Action Microfinance Bank who said this in Lagos while addressing news men recently added that there had been much pressure on the sector to deliver due to the prevailing economic circumstances in the country.

According to her, the demand placed on microfinance banks is currently above what the sector can cope with, explaining that this was so because demand placed on microfinance bank is so high because of the current economic hardship.

She said; “The sector cannot do without more local and foreign investors. The Enhanced Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) research conducted in 2014 for the nation reported that 34.9 million adults are financially excluded from the banking sector, while over 39 million are under-banked.

“As an expert in microfinance, I believe the 90 per cent of about 75 million adults that are excluded from financial services are the active poor the microfinance banks are meant to serve. In the absence of finance, people who are not connected to the formal financial sector lacked the opportunity to maximise income and expand their businesses,” she said.

The Bank executive said that it was unfortunate that the 980 microfinance banks in the country did not have the capacity to reach out to the group. “Let’s say each of the adult needs just N100,000 loan to start a business, this means that about N7.5 trillion would be required. \

The total assets of all microfinance banks in the country are not even up to that amount. If we add all the total assets of all microfinance banks, it is not equal to that of one commercial bank.

“How will microfinance banks serve effectively? As at now, all the microfinance banks still serve less than one per cent of the population,” she said.

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