DR. OKOYE: Actually, you know, CBN is not like a commercial bank. It’s more of an Apex bank. Obtaining loan from CBN does not necessarily mean that somebody should walk into the CBN and say ‘Please, I need some loans from…’, you know. They usually go through the banks because their banks usually serve as a guarantor to whichever loan you are receiving from CBN. But if we look at how to build, I still believe that talking about getting loan must not be in your mind, starting from CBN.
First of all, how you relate with people. If somebody lends you money, endeavour to pay back. That is the fundamental step to take because it is your track record that the bank will eventually present to the CBN and say, ‘he has this capacity and has shown integrity and trust over this very period of track record’.
You start off from where you are. If somebody gives you money, don’t come back to tell stories don’t come back to be in a position to begin to…, don’t go to a prophet to pray for debt cancellation that the person that gave you money should not live again.
That integrity has to be there and when you get into the bank, and they give you any facilitator, of course, they may ask you, run this your company for a period to see how you have been consistent and eventually support you with a little. When you get that money, make paying back your loan a responsibility that I so fundamental to the growth of your business and, of course, your person in terms of character.
So when that is seen over time, eventually opportunities like what happens in the CBN from time to time, seeing the need of a particular sector, can come in but it is your bank that speaks the language that CBN will eventually say,’ Yes, these people have been able to show and the evidence is there.
So I think that is actually what speaks for us. Because if you look at my background, how we started, it was 500 thousand nairas, I go from Microfinance bank, in Port Harcourt. When we started with the microfinance bank, we maintained all our accounts. Every kobo that came in, went into the microfinance bank.
As a matter of fact, when they saw the way we were doing, you know microfinance bank is a small system so there is a certain amount of money they can’t afford to give.
The owners of that had a now mobilized form and gave us as a loan facility being guaranteed by the Microfinance bank, Six Million.