The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said its intervention is helping to create enabling policies and making business enterprises grow across various strata of the economy.
Particularly, some of the banks initiatives have significantly contributed to sustainable economic development, and has supported businesses to create the desired economic and social value.
The CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele who made the remark at the just concluded Lagos International Trade fair, said that the bank played a leading role in the recent efforts by the federal government to create a more friendly business environment through the Secured Transaction in Movable Assets Act, 2017 ( National Collateral Registry Act) and the Credit Reporting Act, 2017.
Emefiele, represented at the CBN special by the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor explained that the objective of the new Acts is to ensure that Nigerians especially small business owners have easy access to credit facilities from banks and other financial institutions without necessarily having fixed collaterals, adding that this has helped businesses especially MSMEs.
Speaking further he said, CBN has focused on MSMEs which currently contributes about 48 per cent to the GDP of Nigeria but have access to only about 5 per cent of lending From Deposits Money Banks (DMBs).
The governor while answering questions from the audience urged more women to approach the banks for its small and medium scale loans because according to him, they will repay such grants better than their male counterparts.
He said CBN placed a high priority on women, and was increasing the number of females in its fold.
According to him “We have a special place for women and we have increased the number of women we have because we believe that women are more efficient, more reliable and more enterprising than men.
It is easy to give more loans to women because they will pay back. They are not like those of us (men) who may not pay back.”
He explained further that if a woman had the naira note, the impact of the money would be greater than when it was given to a man.
Emefiele said the major problem of women in business is that many of the women do not have bank accounts and that makes it difficult for them to access any loan.
To address this challenge, he said that CBN had been encouraging women to organise themselves under effective cooperative units to be able to access the loan incentives.
He also mentioned that many of the women did not have bank accounts where the loans could be paid into.