18 November 2014, Lagos – Dockworkers, freight forwarders, truckers, port workers, staff of private companies and government organizations that mostly have challenges accessing small loans can now be upbeat. This follows the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s), approval for operation of a new financial institution, the Maritime Microfinance Bank (MFB).
The Maritime MFB, which will formally commence operation on Monday December 1, 2014, is the first financial institution fully dedicated to servicing the maritime industry in Nigeria. It will be added to the 795 microfinance banks already listed by the Central Bank.
“The birth of the Maritime MFB is a culmination of several years of research and team work between several well-meaning people who are passionate about growing the maritime industry,” said Mr. Bolaji Akinola, a Director and Promoter of the new bank.
He said the Maritime Microfinance Bank has been set up to fill a yawning gap within the financial services industry by offering small loans, or micro-loans, to maritime industry operators and workers who are unable to access conventional loan services.
He said, the Maritime Microfiance Bank will use small and microloans to develop small businesses based on their existing talents and skill sets. He said access to finance is an invaluable element that brings growth and development to any sector of the economy. It also helps in realizing full economic capabilities of the people, he said.
Akinola, who is also the CEO of Ships & Ports Communication Company, said: “We are embarking on a revolution in the provision of financial solutions for the maritime industry. We are starting as a unit micro-finance bank but our vision is to evolve into a full fledge commercial bank fully dedicated to the growth and development of the maritime industry.”
According to him, the Maritime Microfinance Bank will build exceptional value for its clients by demonstrating incomparable care for their needs and increasing their financial wealth by providing tailored solutions to meet their financial needs and protecting their assets.
He said the bank is deploying the latest banking technology and have developed very exceptional financial solutions that will help its clients grow. These, he said, are in addition to the regular banking products which include Savings Account, Current Account, Salary Account and Cooperative Account among others.
*Andrew Airahuobhor – Daily Independent