Collaboration for Accelerated Growth: The Evolving Roles of Microfinance Banks.


The power of collaboration has always been evident in accelerating growth and progress. So, when our team first connected with the National Association of Microfinance Banks, Nigeria (NAMB) in Kigali, the potential was palpable, and throughout our time in the country, we explored possibilities and discussed avenues for collaboration.

At Prembly, we firmly believe in the strength of collaboration, in coming together to build a digital infrastructure that facilitates seamless transactions across Africa, and as with everything we do, build, and improve daily, we ask ourselves who we can partner with to reach our goals faster.

Since our meeting with NAMB in Kigali, the need to work closely to assist Microfinance Banks (MFBs) in digitizing their operations around KYC became evident. In no time, we devised a simplified kit to help MFBs expand and explore all the digital space has to offer. We dare say the support from the association continues to exemplify COMMUNITY in every sense.

Retreating with Investors & MFB Stakeholders

On September 20th, 2023, I and my dedicated colleagues arrived in the picturesque Ogere, Ogun State, for the 2023 Microfinance Retreat & Investors’ Conference. The event brought together leaders and stakeholders from various Microfinance institutions across Nigeria, creating a platform for learning, networking, and forging new partnerships.

As partners of NAMB, we were privileged to witness firsthand the microfinance sector’s positive impact and transformative potential. We engaged in dialogue with various stakeholders and regulators, listening and learning from them.

On Building Bridges and Forging Connections

The retreat commenced with a warm welcome, followed by keynote addresses and goodwill messages by Mr Joshua Ukute, The National President- NAMB, HE Prince (Dr.) Dapo Abiodun MFR — The Executive Governor of Ogun State, and Senator (Dr.) Bashiru Ajibola, respectively.

This set the stage for a series of insightful sessions and workshops. It was heartening to witness stakeholders from different institutions united in the common goal of advancing the Microfinance Institution in Nigeria. Conversations, dialogues, closed-door meetings — ideas flowed freely, best practices were shared, and innovative solutions were brainstormed.

Panel Discussions and Valuable Insights

One of the highlights of the event was the panel discussion on Regulatory Support for Sustainable Banking — The East Africa Experience By Dr. Tumubweinee Twinemanzi — Executive Director Supervision, Bank of Uganda, and Panel Discussion: “The Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles — Microfinance Banks’ Responsibilities, Opportunities and Challenges,” as both sessions spoke to the depth of our work in the regulatory space, fostering conversations for sustainable solutions and growth between the regulator and regulated.

The session was moderated by Dr. Genevieve Pearl Duncan Obuobi, Lead Consultant Terragon Edge Ltd UK/Ghana, with the following Panelists:

  1. Mr. Debo Adeniyi — CEO, CENGSSUD Sustainability Ltd
  2. Prof Raheem Akewusola — Dean, Faculty of Mgt Sciences, Lagos State University
  3. Mr. Ladipo Akoni — CEO, AFOS Foundation
  4. Mr. Taiwo Joda — MD, Accion Microfinance Bank
  5. Ms. Brandie Stevens-Igbe — Head — Sustainability LAPO Microfinance Bank

The various discourse was a testament to the collective commitment of microfinance institutions towards financial inclusion and digitalization, which was great being a part of.

Empowering MFBs and Addressing Emerging Threats:

As a company dedicated to fostering Innovation, Collaboration and Excellence, we were particularly drawn to the town hall and Town Hall Meeting: “The Emerging Threats to Microfinance Banking in Nigeria” anchored by Mr. Adegoke Adegbami, MD Mainstreet Microfinance Bank,” as one of the threats MFBs and financial service providers have continuously faced are issues related to digital; where it’s evident they need to evolve with the times and be up to date with industry trends; hence these “times” have also come with bad actors and all sorts — which is where most MFBs are stuck, playing it safe!

Moving into the Future:

As we work towards the ambitious goal of creating a unified identity system, we remain committed to digital inclusivity and understand the critical role of digital onboarding. This not only saves time and costs but also unlocks the full potential of the digital space. That said, this event helped us further recognize the areas where we can better support MFBs, especially related to KYC & regulatory compliance, and we’re committed to working hand in hand with NAMB.

Learn more:

Celebrating Achievements and Looking Ahead

The retreat also provided an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of institutions and individuals who have contributed to the MFB space. It was truly humbling to be in the company of such dedicated professionals who positively impact countless lives. We were also honored to receive an award as a trusted and committed partner.

A Heartfelt Thank You

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to NAMB for organizing an event that facilitated meaningful connections and inspired positive change. We are proud to have been part of this experience and look forward to future collaborations to strengthen the microfinance sector further.

In conclusion, the retreat reinforced our belief that working together can create a more inclusive and prosperous future for all. We leave with a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper understanding of microfinance’s vital role in driving economic progress.

Here’s to all that’s ahead!

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