The Nigerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit (NDDIS) has charged financial institutions to channel their loans towards productive sectors in the country, citing it as imperative to revitalizing the economy.
The Chairman, NDDIS, Bimbo Roberts, said banks must make access to finance available for many Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), describing them as catalysts for economic development.
Roberts, who said this at the launch of MBBOV Co-operative Society 14th branch in Nigeria in partnership with the NDDIS, called on the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other commercial banks to up the ante by stimulating the productive sectors of the economy.
In his words: “The Bank of Industry should stimulate the productive sectors and also encourage the private banks to give loans to productive sectors. If the Federal Government can come up with guarantees like they do in other climes, we should be developing the micro businesses until they grow to become large enterprises, but what we see is that the micro businesses are dying.
“We are also faced with the challenge of sharp practices by banks where loans do not go into productive sectors. It is more of interpersonal relationships that get you loans in Nigeria,” he lamented.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri, represented by the Chief Diaspora Officer, Ayodele Akinribido, enjoined MBBOV to attract investment into ventures that can create green jobs; embrace good governance systems that support inclusive growth; and critique deeply embedded assumptions that are no longer questioned.
She said: “You must begin to imagine new ways to embrace far-flung Nigerian Diasporas as integral to the Nigerian story. Without falling foul of the risk of educating you, we all know more needs to be done for African poverty and underdevelopment to be conquered. Yes, this means, developing human capital and job creation differently.”
The Chief Executive Officer, MBBOV, Co-operative Society, Mrs. Valerie Ayodele, reaffirmed her commitment to providing loans to MSMEs in Nigeria, and stressed an urgent need to eradicate poverty while also creating opportunities for the Nigerian youths.
“I see a lot of Nigerians that have many things to give to the community but nobody is helping to achieve this dream. What we do when we see people having difficulties in paying back the loans borrowed, is that we reduce the rates and the money we lend to them. We do not write them off because they defaulted. We need to change the perception that Nigerians do not pay back loans. We just have to understand the reason behind them not owing you.
“We have a tiny percentage of loan defaulters, but we have a lot of people who take loans and they pay back. We just have to start talking to them and that is what we do at MBOOV.
“During the lockdown, we were the only cooperative society lending people money and opening branches. You just have to key in by understanding the needs of these borrowers. We have so far given out millions of naira with over 90 per cent recovery of these loans. We are out there to create opportunities because we believe together we can create a lot. We want to eradicate poverty while also creating wealth,” Ayodele added.