HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited has disbursed loans totalling about N50 billion to about 60,000 small businesses since its commencement of banking services in the country.
The bank’s Managing Director, Rogers Nwoke, who gave the hint during the HASAL MFB 10th Anniversary/Walk For Health Programme in Abuja, said that the loans were mainly disbursed to small business owners who could not access funds from commercial banks based on the conditions.
He explained: “Small businesses and low-income earners find it difficult to get loans because when they have between N5,000 and N10,000 to open a savings account, they go to the DMBs. They find it tough to access loans because they don’t patronise the MFBs.
“In the last 10 years, we have disbursed almost N50bn to about 60,000 people. We have a customer base of more than 200,000. For those who have taken loans and still taking loans, we have recorded close to 60,000 people.
“So, not just HASAL, many MFBs are giving out loans to small businesses across the country. And as a matter of fact, I am also the President of the National Association of Microfinance Banks and so I am speaking from a position of knowledge and authority”, the banking expert added.
Nwoke, who is also the President of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMBs), noted that MFBs had been supportive of small businesses across the country and urged small business owners to reciprocate by doing business with the MFBs.
On the roles of MFBs in nation’s economic development, he clarified: “The MFBs are established to include everybody into the national financial system. For those who have been excluded and feel that the big Deposit Money Banks do not care for them, let them come to microfinance banks. Our job is to provide banking services to people who want those small loans that the big banks cannot give.
“The MFBs are in a position to give loans. Small business owners should stop rushing to where it would be difficult to access loans for their businesses. When you look for, say N100,000 or N200,000 from a commercial bank, they will tell you to go to a micro-finance bank. So, small businesses need to understand this.”
Nwoke explained that through the ‘walk for health programme’, HASAL MFB is “saying you should walk for your heart and health. We realise that people understand work but don’t understand the significance of walking. If you work from Monday to Friday, on Saturday, take a walk around your environment because it is good for the heart and your health.
“We hope to continue to do this, but we chose the occasion of our 10th anniversary to inaugurate it as a corporate social responsibility initiative for not just our customers, but for as many that wish to join in this exercise”, he added.