Nigeria’s development finance institution, Development Bank of Nigeria Plc (DBN), has said more business owners will get loans as it is addressing major financing challenges facing Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.
The Managing Director, Tony Okpanachi, in a statement said the financial institution’s main objective is to mobilise financing for Nigeria’s economic diversification, serve the unserved and underserved MSME market segment while facilitating innovative and eco-friendly solutions for the marketplace.
Okpanachi, who also express delight at attainment of the highest possible rating in the Sustainability Standards Certification Initiative (SSCI) project bagged by the bank recently.
The SSCI has become the reference programme for institutions that intend to take issues of sustainability initiatives seriously.
Since aligning with the provisions of the SSCI, DBN has been able to drive a deeper understanding of its already established mandate of serving society, providing financial viability, and environmental sustainability within its operations, Okpanachi said.
The statement read, “As part of DBN’s commitment to sustainability, the Bank recently celebrated World Environmental Day, where it undertook the commitment of restoring green spaces on school grounds.in select schools in Abuja and Lagos. The bank also set up a financial endowment fund to “Green Clubs” in these schools.
“The bank also announced its partnership with MOE +Art Architecture, a local sustainability-enabled design and architecture firm focused on creating sustainable practices and methodologies, to research, test, and archive local indigenous sustainable materials from four geographical locations in Nigeria.
“Upon being awarded the SSCI completion certificate, Development Bank of Nigeria has been inducted into the local and global European Organization for Sustainable Development (EOSD) family, which houses banks across Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America, which are already a member-institutions of the initiative.”
Meanwhile, Okpanachi appreciated the World Development Finance Forum for the award, assuring that the bank will not relent in efforts to deepen its investments around sustainability standards.
In his words “The award shows the strides we are achieving as an organization. Since we were inducted into the SSCI last year, we have realized a lot of benefits. Some of which are increased innovation in key sustainability-related processes, development of high-impact goals and purpose statements, creating an innovation and stakeholder management framework.
“This has enabled us at DBN to be a part of this historic event as DBN is the only Development Finance Institution in Nigeria and one of the very few in Africa earning the highest accreditation level (Level 5) and look forward to deepening our commitment to sustainability in the days ahead.
“We also realize the benefit of attaining the highest possible level of Stage 5 rating in an elite accreditation forum such as the Sustainability Standards and Certification Initiative (SSCI) and we do not take it for granted.”
While receiving the award on behalf of the Bank, Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services; Ijeoma Ozulumba said “We have envisioned increased opportunities for internal development, collaborations, and partnerships, and since we have been a part of the SSCI, we have experienced nothing short of that, we have created a system that works best for our structure and have held ourselves accountable to our stakeholders”