Baobab mi­cro­fi­nance com­mis­sions branch at Alaba

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - BUSINESS - By Glo­ria Ehi­aghe

Baobab Mi­cro­fi­nance Bank has com­mis­sioned a branch at the Alaba In­ter­na­tional mar­ket, La­gos, at the week­end, in ef­forts to im­press its pur­suit of be­ing a lead­ing dig­i­tal fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion group.

The lender, which has its pres­ence in over 13 coun­tries in the world, is head­quar­tered in Paris, with some of its in­vestors, in­clud­ing the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (IFC), Good­will and Proparco and Bank of Paris, among oth­ers.

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Baobab , Kazeem Olan­re­waju, dis­closed that over N300 mil­lion has been ear­marked to fi­nance the trades in the state, while N500 mil­lion un­so­licited fund from the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN), will go a long way in im­prov­ing its op­er­a­tions.

Olan­re­waju, who ex­plained the mean­ing of Baobab as a tree that pro­vides shel­ter , said the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion, for­merly known as Mi­cro­cred, has grown be­yond loan to other prod­uct of­fer­ings, stress­ing that its cus­tomers will ha ve enough funds to grow their busi­nesses, even as it plans to ex­tend its branches within the Alaba re­gion.

He added that the bank has suc­cess­fully dis­bursed over 112,000 loans to the tune of N32 bil­lion and has over 400 staffs on its pay­roll to ef­fec­tively man­age its client’s port­fo­lio.

In­tro­duc­ing the loan prod- ucts to the guests, Baobab’s Chief Client Of­fi­cer , Bam­bam Fall, said the lender has among its prod­uct of­fer­ings, mini mi­cro loans rang­ing from N20,000 to N99,000; N100,000 to N500,000; and mi­cro plus loan, which ranges from N500,000 to N2 mil­lion.

He said the in­sti­tu­tion in 2017 gave out the high­est loan of N20 mil­lion to one of its cus­tomers. Con­grat­u­lat­ing the bank on its new branch, the Chair­man of Ojo Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Ra­sulu Idowu, promised gov­ern­ment’s sup­port, stat­ing that the bank will bring de­vel­op­ment to the area. Rep­re­sented by the coun­cil’s Vice Chair­man, Idowu Olu­sola, he com­mended the bank on its ef­fort at grant­ing busi­ness sup­port funds to the traders.

She how­ever, ap­pealed to cus­tomers to en­sure they pay back loans on time to en­able con­tin­ued ac­cess to more loans, say­ing, “it is only a wicked man that bor­rows and do not re­pay back.” The Chair­man of Alaba Amal­ga­mated Mar­ket Union, Uchenna Nnadozie, who spoke on be­half of the mar­ket op­er­a­tors, asked for a friendly in­ter­est rate and mode of pay­ment, even as they promised to co­op­er­ate with the lender to en­sure it suc­ceeds.

He said: “We will not be part of those that will col­lect loan and will not be able to pay back.”

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