The Development Bank of Nigeria Plc has emphasized the need to boost Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria by providing access to finance.

The Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria PLC, Tony Okpanachi stated this during the second summit in Kano, with the theme: The Role of Development Bank in Inclusive Financing.

Okpanachi said the choice of Kano was informed by the economic importance of the great city of Kano to commercial activities in northern Nigeria.

He said harnessing resources towards building of MSMEs was imperative judging from the role they play in the economy of the nation.

According to him, “It has become imperative for us to pull resources together and channel collaborative efforts towards building the capacity of the MSMSE as a way revitalizing their operations to address the challenge of access to finance. This will guarantee their growth and boost the economic potentials of this critical sub-sector.

“The summit is one of DBN’s stakeholder engagement strategies aimed at creating awareness around our mandate of providing access to finance, capacity building, and partial credit guarantees to the MSMEs in Nigeria. This is important because they play a crucial role in accelerating economic growth through poverty alleviation, job, and wealth creation.” Okpanachi stated.

He further made case for access to finance and markets for MSMEs which has remained a bane of their development.

“Though significant growth has been achieved in the MSME sector, there is still much to be done. Kano plays a major economic role in the northern business terrain and the challenges that MSMEs have to contend with are not different from those faced internationally. They include access to finance, value chains, and markets. A PwC report in 2020 identified obtaining finance, finding customers, and infrastructure deficits as the most pressing problems of MSMEs in Nigeria. It is therefore pertinent for us as a Bank to champion the conversation on how MSMEs can win despite these challenges, by exposing ways through which MSMEs can benefit from our sustainable financial offerings.

“hosting this event in Kano is apt as it will help us better understand the financial constraints faced by MSMEs in the state”, he said.l

The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje represented by the Head of Service, Alhaji Usman Bala Mohammed, shared his goodwill message at the summit, stating that the summit coincides with the Kano state development plan aimed at accelerating industrial growth which in turn will provide an enabling environment for commerce to thrive and for the economy to grow. He further urged entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the summit to seek solutions to their business challenges.

In his keynote address, a member of the panelists, Alhaji Tajudeen Dantata, CEO of Dantata Foods said; “for us to discuss inclusive financing, we must recognize the important role of the MSMEs as key players in the Nigerian economy, the role of the DBN working in conjunction with their participating financial institutions in addressing the financial constraints faced by the MSMEs”.

Other panelists includes Aisha Tofa, Founder of Startup Kano Hub; Ify Mogekwu of Ify’s Kitchen; Samirah Faruk, Founder Mercy Mission Global Ltd; Olusegun Adegun, Co-Founder, Rural farmers hub and Saratu Buhari, Founder, WeKasuwa.