Fidelity Bank Plc has become the winner of the 2020 Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) service award for the highest disbursement to DBN-focused locations.
A statement by the lender said that this is “as a testament of its determination to support Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SME) to scale and run profitable ventures, leading financial institution”.
The announcement was made at the first-ever DBN Service Ambassadors’ award ceremony held recently in Lagos.
While welcoming guests and awardees to the event, the DBN Managing Director, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, explained that the DBN leverages its partnership with Participating Financial Institutions (PFI) to provide relatively cheaper loans as well as capacity building initiatives to small businesses.
Commenting on the award, MD/CEO Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, said that the bank was delighted to receive the award and that the recognition would spur it to do more to support the SME sector of the economy.
According to her, “This award serves as a proof of the remarkable work that we have done and are currently doing in helping small businesses access much needed loans at competitive rates to help them scale their businesses. We are particularly delighted that a large number of our SME customers are taking advantage of our partnership with the DBN and is a demonstration of our claim to be the preferred bank for small businesses.”
The DBN Ambassadors Programme, which kicked off in 2020, is an initiative of the Development Bank of Nigeria designed to increase a sense of ownership among participating financial institutions, build capacity, increase on-lending to Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) and ultimately deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria. The DBN on-lending scheme allows qualifying SME and small corporate customers of PFIs to access loans at a considerably cheaper rate for working capital or asset finance needs.
“The critical role small businesses play in employment generation, wealth creation and social development cannot be over-emphasised. It is therefore important to position them for scalable and sustainable growth. Our vision at Fidelity Bank is to bridge the yawning gap for capacity building and help SMEs in Nigeria build the necessary capacity for entrepreneurial success. We are proud of the role that we play in helping SMEs thrive, especially through the facilitation on loans,” explained Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe.