Association of Non-Bank Microfinance Institutions of Nigeria

Day 1 – Welcome address by Princess Adeshola Ogunleye, President of ANMFIN during the Nigeria Inclusive Finance Conference on 23 November 2017 in Abuja​

Princess Adeshola Ogunleye, president ANMFIN

“Before I present my welcome address, may we all please rise up and observe one minute of silence in respect of our late founding president, Hon Hamid Giwa Afolabi. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Nigeria Inclusive Finance Conference 2017. In the midst of my joy, you will agree with me that it is expedient to appreciate the almighty God who granted our distinguished members, guests and participants a safe and successful journey from their respective places of abode to be part of this national search for solutions to family farmers lingering inadequate access to finance. First and foremost, let me warmly appreciate the board of trustee of our great Association, ANMFIN for their continued support and direction especially during the transition period of our Association. Also, I wish to recognize and appreciate the cooperation of the National Executives Council Members of ANMF IN as well as the States Executives committee for their constant and continuous cooperation and understanding in the face of many challenges. Moreso, let me salute the hardworking and dedicated management team at the ANMFIN national secretariat for their dedication to duty; I pray that God in his infinite power will bless each and every member of the ANMFIN family. Today is not the day of speech making as we have designed the agenda for this session to provide adequate time for the A-list speakers to be able to enlighten and enhance our understanding of the various conference topics listed in the agenda. As you might have noted, the conference is holding for two days, and we will be utilizing the opportunity to launch the Farmer-to-Finance Fund. However, permit me to welcome and personally welcome the presence of our sponsors delegation, the Software Group, the representative of the Central Bank Governor, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture and other distinguished captains of industries and partners of ANMFIN that have made time to join us in this national effort to redefine the process of inclusive finance. As defined by the United Nations, inclusive finance is the “universal access, at a reasonable cost to a wide range of financial services, provided by a variety of sound and sustainable institutions.” This term and the definition reflect the evolution in the sector from thinking about “microcredit” to “microfinance” to something that is fully integrated into the financial system, while recognising the additional challenges and opportunities of bringing in those who are currently excluded. For instance, while Agriculture employs over 60% of Africa’s labour force and accounts for 40% of total economic output as well as provides a platform for achieving a global partnership for development particularly the Millennium Development Goals, one, three and eight. Evidence shows that the majority of Africa is still dominated by small-scale agriculture by farmers who practice subsistence farming as a result of shortage of access to a range of financial services including savings, credit, leasing and factoring, mortgages, insurance, pension, payments and local and international transfers by all households and enterprises. Ladies and gentlemen, this conference promises to expatiate on how we can work together to bring about the needed changes in our various institutions and organizations in order to liberate our agricultural sector leveraging on the services of microfinance institutions affiliated to ANMFIN across the states and local governments. Once again, welcome and fasten your seatbelts for an interesting and business changing session.”