The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has launched an innovative MSME Equipment Leasing Initiative aimed at strengthening financing options for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

This collaborative effort marks a crucial step towards fostering economic growth and resilience within the nation’s vibrant small business sector.

The groundbreaking event held at DBN’s Lagos Office in Victoria Island, had in attendance key representatives from DBN, GIZ, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), financial institutions, MSME owners, and media professionals.

In his opening remarks, the Chief Operating Officer, Development Bank of Nigeria, Bonaventure Okhaimo described the program as a game-changer for alternative financing options for MSMEs who are the bedrock of Nigeria’s economic growth.

“This initiative that we have successfully launched today is expected to have a profound impact on the MSME ecosystem, which is a critical driver of economic growth, job and wealth creation in our country. By facilitating easier access to essential equipment, DBN and GIZ are directly addressing one of the major hurdles faced by small businesses, thereby enhancing their competitiveness and capacity for innovation”.

He also said that “By partnering with GIZ and ELAN, we are not only providing financial solutions but also contributing to the overall growth and sustainability of small businesses in Nigeria.

“The MSME Equipment Leasing Initiative will go a long way to bridge the gap in equipment financing that many small businesses face, thereby enhancing their productivity, competitiveness, and ability to scale. This strategic collaboration reaffirms our commitment to financing sustainable growth and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria” He stared.

Markus Wauschkuhn, Head of Programme, GIZ Nigeria/SEDIN while speaking at the launch said that the Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria constitute a significant portion of the economy, and their importance to the economy cannot be overstated.

“In Nigeria MSMEs play a pivotal role in propelling economic growth, contributing to job creation, innovation, and sustainable development. They serve as the backbone of the Nigerian economy with huge contributions to her GDP.”

“Our partnership with DBN underscores our shared commitment to empowering these small businesses and enhancing their access to crucial financing options. By focusing on equipment leasing, we aim to unlock new possibilities for businesses to invest in cutting-edge technologies and boost their productivity.

“The Equipment Leasing Initiative is a testament to our dedication to fostering economic development and supporting entrepreneurship in Nigeria. By providing MSMEs with essential tools and resources, we are enabling them to thrive and contribute to a more inclusive and robust economy.” He noted.

According to him “This novel Equipment Leasing Initiative represents a significant milestone in our effort to revolutionize the financial landscape for MSMEs in Nigeria. Through this strategic collaboration, DBN and GIZ are set to empower small businesses, drive innovation, and fuel sustainable economic growth, paving the way for a brighter future for entrepreneurs across the nation.”

On his part, the Executive Secretary/CEO, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), Andrew Emonuwa lauded DBN and GIZ for creating such an initiative at a critical time where small businesses are struggling to stay afloat in the face of current economic realities.

“I must commend the Development Bank of Nigeria and its partners for coming up with such a creative concept. We are so excited about this initiative, because it will deepen the penetration of leasing for MSMEs and reshape the economy for sustainable growth.

“Leasing if well harnessed is a very critical tool to develop MSMEs, beyond giving small business owners access to finance, it will facilitate easier access to essential equipment that will help them achieve greater operational success, improve productivity and reduce unemployment in the country”, he added