April 15, 2019, Washington, DC – Representatives of FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited in Nigeria (FINCA Nigeria) and of the Nigerian government held talks to advance financial inclusion and economic development in the country. FINCA Nigeria is a subsidiary of FINCA Impact Finance (FIF), a global network of 20 banks and microfinance institutions, and offers responsible financial services to enable low-income individuals and communities to invest in their futures.
The two sides discussed partnering at a meeting hosted by Rupert Scofield, President and CEO of FINCA International, a US-based not-for-profit organization which is the founder and primary shareholder of the FIF network. The meeting was attended by Minister of Information Lai Mohammed and by Mr.Chinedu Okpareke and Ms. Genevieve Mbama, both members of the Management Board of FINCA Nigeria.
The discussion focused on financial inclusion and social entrepreneurship. Mr. Mohammed presented on the federal National Social Intervention Program (NSIP), a fund established in 2016 with the following goals: to empower vulnerable sectors of society; to improve quality of life; to provide affordable credit for medium, small and micro-enterprises (MSMEs); to reduce inequality; and to increase access to education and health services, among other things.
Mr Chinedu Okpareke gave the honorable minister overview of FINCA MfB Nigeria’s operations in Nigeria, stating the impact the bank has made so far. The bank is currently serving over 30,000 clients with an active loan portfolio of over ₦1billion and voluntary savings ₦600million. The bank since inception has disbursed over ₦6billion to entrepreneurs in Imo State.
The bank has its proprietary agency banking network cut across Imo state and the newly launched USSD mobile banking to serve the under-banked. FINCA also offers Educational loans to school owners as well as parents & guardians towards improving the quality of education in the country. Currently FINCA is operating in Imo state with five branches and one sales office with plans of stamping its footprint across Nigeria once it acquires its national license delivering innovative and impactful technology driven financial products and services.
During the meeting, Mr. Lai Mohammed said he would be honored to have FINCA Nigeria partner with the government to promote economic development by participating in the NSIP. Ms. Mbama told Mr. Lai Mohammed that FINCA Nigeria would require additional capacity to support its purpose of expanding financial inclusion to low-income entrepreneurs in Nigeria, especially women who operate farms and MSMEs.
Mr. Scofield also shared how the goals of NISP and FINCA Nigeria’s efforts to promote financial inclusion align well with FINCA Ventures. FINCA Ventures is an impact investing initiative of FINCA International that provides patient capital and pre- and post-investment support to early-stage social enterprises. In Nigeria, FINCA Ventures currently supports four innovative companies improving access to basic services for low-income families in the areas of energy, agriculture and healthcare.
The meeting ended with an agreement to hold further talks between FINCA Nigeria and the government of Nigeria to further discuss how to expand financial inclusion, and how the government can support the bank in providing innovative and impactful financial services.