CBN Approves Rivers Micro-Finance Bank

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved an application by the Rivers State Microfinance Agency (RIMA) to float a microfinance bank for the state.
This was revealed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer RIMA, Mr. Innocent Iyalla Harry, in an interview with The Tide in his office in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The RIMA boss said that with the CBN’s approval, the State Microfinance bank would become operational in three months’ time, adding that since the fall of Pan African Bank, the state has no bank it can call her own.
He also noted that the bank would be sited in all the 23 Local Government Areas of the state, which makes the cashless policy and financial inclusion in the state more effective as it would be 100 per cent owned by the State.
The State has also accessed the N2 billion Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) fund given by the federal government to all the states for the growth of the SMEs.
The RIMA MD said the approval has made possible the transition of RIMA from a micro credit lender to SME fund sources which entitles beneficiaries to get up to N500,000 compared to the N50,000 – N100,000 given under the micro credit scheme.
RIMA under the present state has four different loans for Rivers business men and women; RIMA loan, microfinance bank loan, SMEs fund of N2 billion and the N4 billion agricultural loan from the federal government.
“Rivers State is the only state that has set up an agency dedicated to microfinance, the other states are just copying from us. We are trying to make the state a reference point in Nigeria and sub-Sahara African region”.

L-R: Director, Nigeria Sustainable Development Solutions Network (NSDSN), Prof. Ikenna Onyido, Director, Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV), Prof. Labode Popoola; President African Sustainable Development Network (ASUDNET), Prof. Ndowa Lale and guest speaker, Prof. Sola Olopade, at the annual Ibadan sustainable summit in Ibadan recently. Photo: NAN
L-R: Director, Nigeria Sustainable Development Solutions Network (NSDSN), Prof. Ikenna Onyido, Director, Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV), Prof. Labode Popoola; President African Sustainable Development Network (ASUDNET), Prof. Ndowa Lale and guest speaker, Prof. Sola Olopade, at the annual Ibadan sustainable summit in Ibadan recently. Photo: NAN