Microfinance bank offers N5bn lifeline to SMEs

Accion Microfinance Bank has offered a loan facility of about N5.45 billion to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to assist them to remain afloat.
The Chairman of the bank, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, made the disclosure at the 10th Annual General Meeting of the bank in Lagos on Monday.

He said the sum was disbursed to the SMEs, starting from 2010 till date.
Akinwuntan said the lifeline was to assist the SMEs to stay in business in the face of the current harsh economic climate in the country.

He said, however, that the bank had witnessed a marginal decline in profit this financial year, compared to previous years.

The banker said the company recorded N838 million after tax profit in 2015, compared to N911 million after tax profit posted in 2014.

The chairman announced that the bank’s active loan clients grow from 34,245 in 2014 to 43,788 this financial year.
Akinwuntan said that total loan disbursed grew from N10.33 in 2014 to N13.77 billion in 2015, indicating a 33 per cent growth for the period.

He said the bank’s efforts to inculcate savings culture in its customers had started yielding results, resulting to savings accounts increasing by 48 per cent from 150,321 in 2014 to 222,158 in 2015.
“Deposits grew by 49 per cent from N1.4 billion in 2014 to N2.1 billion in 2015,” he added.

The Managing Director of the bank, Mrs Olubunmi Lawson, said the bank had opened eight additional branches to bring the total to 24.

She said the branches were opened at Agric in Ikorodu, Aguda, Oke-Odo, Baruwa, Festac Town, Isolo and Boundary in Lagos and that outlets were also opened at Mile 1 in Port Harcourt.