NPF Microfinance Bank seeks additional capital for expansion

The Chairman, NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, Mr. Azubuko Udah, on Thursday said the bank planned to raise additional capital to strengthen and expand its operations.

Udah, who is a former deputy inspector-general of Police, said this in Lagos when he visited the Nigerian Stock Exchange to, among other things, perform the closing gong ceremony.

“The Board aims at raising stronger capital base, attracting new investors, raising the national profile and enhancing the leadership position of NPF Microfinance Bank in the microfinance bank-subsector,” he told stockbrokers on the floor of the Exchange.

Although Udah did not disclose the amount the bank was seeking, he said it would be raised through public and rights offers.

He said, “The Board and management is currently making wide consultation with all stakeholders to determine when to come to the market for its proposed public and rights offers. The proceeds will be used in financing branch network, information technology as well as improved working capital.”

He said although the NPF microfinance bank was licenced as a national microfinance bank, it currently had only 17 branches in the country.

“So many states have not been covered and people, both police officers and members of the public, who have seen how the bank has been performing, want to become a part of it by becoming depositors and investors,” he said.

According to him, if additional capital is successfully raised, the microfinance bank will establish 12 more branches in different states and subsequently ensure that it has branches in all states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The NPF Microfinance Bank chairman, who said the bank had consistently paid dividend to shareholders in the last 16 years, assured the investing public that the bank’s positive performance would be sustained and improved upon in the future.

“A time will come when they (shareholders) will start getting bonus shares, depending on the way the bank is growing and expanding,” he added, stressing that it was also expected that the bank’s share price would continue to rise along with its performance.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NPF Microfinance Bank, Mr. Akinwunmi Lawal, said the engine room of the economy was the micro subsector of the economy, hence microfinance banks had very important roles to play for national development.

This, according to him, is because microfinance banks provide necessary financial assistance to small companies.

He explained that the roles of microfinance banks had become even more important now with focus shifting to entrepreneurship from what obtained in the past when many people chased after white collar jobs.

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Source : Punch

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