The Lagos State Government on Friday inaugurated its microfinance bank, restating its avowed commitment to poverty reduction and employment generation in the state.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinyemi Ashade, gave the assurance at the official unveiling of Ibile Microfinance Bank at its head office situated at No. 121, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja.
He said the bank was set up to boost micro, small and medium enterprises and generate employment for the people.
“The state government will make loans available to residents who plan to go into small-scale businesses, but lack the necessary capital to do so.
“Ibile MFB will galvanise activities in the MSME sector and allow more people to go into businesses to ultimately reduce unemployment and poverty,” Ashade said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the bank, Mr Kolawole Taiwo, said the Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration was committed to improving the standards of living of the people and ensuring the delivery of dividends of democracy.
Taiwo, the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, said creating access to loans would boost entrepreneurial activities in the state.
He said:“Ibile is the main disbursement vehicle to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) which was established by Ambode with N25 billion over four years.
“This is to finance 100,000 businesses under the micro and small and Medium Enterprises.
“Today marks another milestone in our state and we will do the job with all seriousness to provide leadership to others in this sector.
“We must also note that microfinance banks such as Ibile exist to fill the vacuum that traditional/commercial banks cannot fill in terms of providing capital and credit facilities to MSMEs.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director of IBILE MFB, Mr Adegboyega Kazeem, highlighted the bank’s products and services geared toward the economic development of the state.
Kazeem, who noted that the bank was an opportunity for the people of the state to start or grow their businesses, added that the bank was prepared to come to the rescue of MSMEs in the state.
“We have mandate to provide essential banking services and make loans available to residents and small businesses owners in the state.
“As a corporate entity, our utmost priority is to provide value-added services to the people of the state,” he said.
According to him, Ibile is partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the N220 billion Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises Development Fund to enable it to disburse low interest loans to qualified MSMEs.
He added that the bank was also partnering with the Bank of Industry and other intervention funds both foreign and domestic to increase access to finance and capital by MSMEs.