THE maiden lecture of the Development Bank of Nigeria held in Abuja revealed more than what stakeholders who were at the event had expected. The expectations and the reality of what the bank eventually delivered were effectively captured by the summary given by development partners of DBN who like other guests were convinced of the solid foundation already laid by the bank for the future of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) projects.
Going by its mandate to alleviate finance constraints confronting MSMEs in Nigeria through the provision of financing and partial credit guarantees to eligible financial intermediaries on a market-conforming and fully financially sustainable basis, the bank without any iota of doubt was able to convince its guests that it has delivered within a short period of operation and possesses the potential to do more.
Beyond the rhetoric and funfair usually associated with such lectures by organizations without anything tangible, touchable to show and present to stakeholders over the years, DBN proved that in just two years of its existence it has significantly invested in the human capital resources of identified MSMEs in their chosen fields, by reason of the support and the loans extended by the bank, which provided the needed linkage of financial support for such ventures.
From the keynote address to the main speakers, there was no doubt that the challenges starring the small and medium entrepreneurs are gigantic and some which without any intervention may remain insurmountable for years. Even in spite of the support, there were still some as identified by Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Chairman of the Board of African Development Bank who was the keynote Speaker, that were not covered by the support and with which they had to contend.
Of particular commendation was the story of icons of MSMEs presented at the maiden lectures during the discussions by panelists among who were the Technopreneur & Founder, Outsource Global, Amal Hassan, and the MD, CEO of Psalty International Limited, Mrs. Yemisi Iranloye who among many others represented the success story of the DBN intervention in guaranteeing financial support for the MSMEs.
If in two years, the bank was able to celebrate that much then without any doubt the sky is no longer the limits of what is expected of the financial intervention institution.