The Managing Director, Jaiz Bank Plc,Hassan Usman has said the bank would soon begin the disbursement of the $20m facility for operators in the Small and Medium Enterprises sector of the economy. He said this on Thursday in Abuja during a chat with journalists.
The bank had in March signed the agreement with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector to finance the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises with $20m (N6.1bn). The ICDP is an arm of the Islamic Development Bank.
The amount would be provided to SMEs in key sectors of the economy such as industry, communications technology, health, manufacturing, and agriculture among others. Responding to enquiries by our correspondent on the loan, Usman said the bank would soon begin the disbursement, adding that the fund would be disbursed before the end of the year.
He said, “On the SME financing line from the ICD, when you have signed publicly that is when you start to do the work and tidy up to make sure the agreement and all the conditions precedent are met. “We have finished all of that and we have lined up a number of customers desirous of benefiting from this facility and very soon we will start to disburse to these customers.
“We believe that before the end of this year, we would have done if not all of the disbursement of the $20m but substantial part would have gone before the end of this year.” He said the bank had commenced a five year strategic plan to enable it provide better services to its customers.
For instance, he said the bank had increased its visibility in Lagos by opening more branches, adding that this would be extended to other regions of the country. He said, “We are having a balance sheet size that is growing by 20 per cent year-on-year and our branch network has increased from 27 to 32 and we hope to increase this to 40 branches before the end of the year.”
On funding for agriculture, he said that the Central Bank of Nigeria had reviewed it’s framework of the commercial agricultural credit scheme to accommodate the funding structure of the bank. He said, “The Central Bank and the Federal Government have been trying to ensure that financing get to the farmers. To address the challenges, they came up with the Anchor Borrower Scheme and similar schemes.”