Abuja - The Chief Operations Officer, Fortis
Microfinance Bank Ltd. ,Jero Omare-Ogah, said that the bank had
provided support to no fewer than 50,000 women entrepreneurs in Abuja.
Omare-Ogah told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday that the
support had enabled the women to expand their Small and Medium Scale
The officer said that the bank had also supported other SMEs owners
to expand their businesses through its Small scale businesses and
"In Abuja alone we have supported over 50,000 women to grow small and medium scale businesses for over five and half years.
"Our model allows us to give a lot of support to our customers to
allow them to expand their businesses and even offers solutions that
will help them to grow.
"When we say we want to be the dominant market finance bank in
Nigeria, we mean it in every sense, in terms of support, growth in
customers’ businesses and various supports we can offer to them.
"Our dream is to ensure that everybody is happy through our support,
not just in finance but in other areas including insurance,’’
He, however, advised entrepreneurs in the country to partner with banks in expanding SMEs.
He said that any SMEs owner, who needed financial assistance from the
bank, should have a bank account and good financial relationship with
"We have over 17 million businesses in Nigeria that employ about 22
million persons. Of these, just about 35 per cent actually have accounts
with the banks.
"Why is it important to have an account? Getting wealthy or successful is team sport.
"You need a bank that has some level of expertise and some
experience to also help in guiding you. Beyond providing finances it
will guide and also help you.
"But when you are not having that partnership, it slows down your pace.
"In a country with population of over 100 million, only 28 million
people have an account in the entire Nigeria; so it tells you that so
much more needs to be done.
"So, for the entrepreneurs, there is need for them to embrace the
banks because beyond funds, there are other things which the banks
provide and they can guide you.
"This is important so that they don’t just remain and be complaining
that there is no solution while there are solutions out there,’’ he
Omare-Ogah also advised government to intensify its efforts in
ensuring the development of SMEs in the country as there were strong
relationship between SMEs and economic growth of a nation.
"If the SMEs sector of a nation is working it will become more
productive with more income; the people will be better engaged leading
to low crime rate; above all, its economy will be vibrant,’’ he said.
He also called on government to provide the needed infrastructure
such as power and the enabling environment to encourage the development
of SMEs in the country.