The Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, has confirmed that small businesses owners that accessed Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) being managed by the bank, have so far repaid N1.8 billion out of the N2.5 billion they borrowed.
Okonkwo stated this during a press conference to herald its partnership with Africa’s Youth Empowerment (AYE) to drive youth empowerment in Nigeria.
“Today we have disbursed about N2.5 billion and out of that N2.5 billion, it is important to state that the creditors have repaid up to N1.8 billion. None of these funds has gone bad. They have not gone bad because we are deliberate in building capacities of the SMEs in the country,” he said.
He, however, stated that the bank decided to partner AYE, because of its pedigree and its huge membership base spread across Africa.
“We are very passionate about SMEs and it gives us the joy to watch people who we have supported grow from start-ups to become giant and corporate. For us, SME banking is a passion for us and we believe supporting them contributes to national growth,” he said.
Earlier, the President, AYE, Sunny Francis, said with the partnership, AYE will be remembered for creating job opportunities, alleviating poverty in Africa and changing the direction of the focus of the Nigerian youth.
“We will be responsible for putting Africa on the global map while also giving entrepreneurs to give confidence to network and get access to credit. We decided to partner Fidelity because of its passion for entrepreneurship development in the country,” he added.
He noted that entrepreneurship advocacy is very key for Africa, calling on other financial institutions to step up their game in supporting the growth and development of MSMEs in Nigeria.