Jaiz Bank to disburse $20m SME loan before year end
Nigeria’s foremost non-interest commercial lender, Jaiz Bank Plc has announced that it will disburse the $20 million, secured from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) before the end of the year.
“We have finished all that we need to tidy up and conditions precedent to the agreement and have lined up our customers who want to benefit from the facility. We will disburse the entire fund or at least a substantial part of it before the end of the year”, Jaiz bank Managing Director (MD) Hassan Usman told the press in Abuja, on Thursday.
The bank’s financing deal with the IDB was sealed in April this year and covers sectors such as industry, communications, technology, health, manufacturing, agriculture among others.
At the press meeting, Usman also announced that the Bank has expanded operations to many states and that their target 40 branches across the country, before the end of the year.
“In terms of the reach, we are looking at opening more branches. Last year we had only two branches in Lagos. We have added two more. We are looking at opening more in the South, especially, the South West before the end of the year,” the MD said.
“You need synergy around the branches so that you reduce the overall costs of a branch. If you have a lone branch in the South- South in Port-Harcourt, for instance, that is not very economical. What we are doing is to get to a level of threshold of activities before we open branches in the South East. We know the market is waiting for us there. We bank people from that part of the country through the nearest branch”, he explained further.
Having been licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria licensed as a national bank in 2016, Jaiz bank now looks to becoming a regional player.
“Important thing is that we do very well in this country. When we grow to a level that we are happy with , the expectation is that we will move to the region are create more partnerships to become regional players,” Usman confirmed.
On Infrastructure funds, Usman noted that requests for such financing has been low but that Jaiz bank has investing heavily in the the federal government’s Sukuk bond which particularly conforms with its ethical requirements.
He assured that the Bank will continue to commit to dealing with credible customers and investments and will not participate in any infrastructure funding that negates the Islamic principles.
He also gave the assurances of the management to only work with partners inorder to make such funds available on request.
Speaking on the challenging Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) in the industry, Jaiz Bank boss said that the institution, eventhough not immuned to the impacts of the country’s tough economic situation, has not suffered much of the problem, due to its business model.
“No over-heating of the balance-sheet because of the nature of what we do,” he stated.
“We don’t compound interest. When it comes to recovery, the collateral is near the facility itself”.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja
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