Naira picks up after depreciating 15.15% in two months.

Association budgets N215 million to fund small businesses in 2015

Abuja- Association of Non-Bank Microfinance Institution of Nigeria (ANMFIN), has developed a strategic plan to strengthen the institution and to ensure that small business owners in the country access funds easily.
The Executive Secretary ANMFIN, Mr Godbless Safugha said this in Abuja during the institution’s annual general meeting on Friday.
Safugha said, “ we identified the MSME sector in the country as a vibrant sector but the challenge they are facing right now is huge.
“They do not have access to finance, there are no infrastructure in place for them and so many other challenges and that is why AMFIN came up with this strategic plan.
“ The focus is to reach micro small and medium scale enterprises, to bring them out of poverty as many as we can and push them up to be financially included.
“ Because if you look at the financial report, about 39 per cent of Nigerians are financially excluded and that is one of the issues that the strategic plan is going to be taking care of.’’
Safugha noted that micro finance institutions were important in the country because they were the only institutions that could easily reach those at the bottom of the pyramid.
On ANMFIN budget for 2015, the Executive Secretary said the institution had proposed a budget of over N215 million.
He explained that the income would emanate from annual subscription, affiliation, ANMFINEWS, conference, microfinance web site, trainings and the major income coming from grants and donations.
On the challenges, Safugha said that the gap between the national and state ANMFIN was very wide and needed to be bridged to enable the state office deliver on their mandate.
Also speaking at the event, the Board Chairman of the Association, Mr Dan Ugbama said it was the desire of ANMFIN to protect the interest of small business owners in the country.
“Essentially, we came up with the desire to make sure that small businesses in the micro finance sub sector are properly provided for because that is the basic reason why we are set up.
“ This sector has suffered a lot of confidence crises, a lot of people have presented themselves as a non bank micro finance operator and later turned out to be very fraudulent practitioners.
“ It is still a problem for us as an organisation to try to get people to understand that our operators mean well, so we still need to build up trust with the people,’’ Ugbama said.
The National President of ANMFIN, Mr Hamid Afolabi said that the essence of the association was to ensure financial inclusion of the people at the bottom of the pyramid.
He said that as a way of ensuring that ANMFIN had been sensitising the people lower rung of the society and would continue to do that because some people at the grass root were still not aware.
“So far, we have gotten good results from the sensitisation and that shows that we should continue to make sure that we attain the desired goal of financial inclusion.’’ (NAN)

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