The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted license for the establishment of 37 Microfinance Banks (MFBs) in Kano State as part of efforts to alleviate poverty as well as to economically empower youths in the state.
The Governor of CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, explained that the apex bank relaxed the guidelines for the establishment of MFBs for Kano State due to the state government's pursuit of economic empowerment programmes.
Speaking in Kano during the inauguration of 37 MFBs, the CBN governor disclosed that given past experience, governments' were prevented from establishing microfinance banks, ostensibly to avoid political interference of its operations.
Sanusi said the MFBs would assist in the establishment of the small and medium scales businesses in the state and advised the people of the state to take advantage of the benefits of the banks.
He also granted licence to10 of the banks that would commence operations immediately, while the others would be created before the end of January.
In his address, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the state explained that the state government decided to establish the banks in collaboration with Local Governments, so as to reverse the trend. He pointed out that commercial banks were non-existent in 10 Local government areas of the state.
He promised that the state government would do everything humanly possible to sustain the 37 banks in addition to eight existing MFBs in the state.
Kwankwaso added that with the inauguration of the 37 banks, the number of MFBs in the state has increased to 45.
He also expressed delight that the establishment and inauguration of the banks would provide employment opportunities to not less than 700 Kano indigenes.
The governor said it would also help reduce poverty in the state, as well as improve the quality of life of the beneficiaries and their immediate family members.