Nigeria’s National Collateral Registry (NCR), has appealed to banks in the country to accept movable assets as collateral to increase the quantum of borrowing to small businesses.
The Registrar, NCR, Mr Mohammed Mainasara, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the 27th Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors, which held in Gombe from April 24 to April 26.
The theme of the seminar was ”Repositioning Micro-Finance Banks for Real Sector Growth”.
Mainasara said that with the introduction of the NCR, small businesses should now be able to access credit at reasonable rates.
“It is expected that the Registry and credit reporting will motivate banks to accept moveable assets as collateral.
“It is also expected that the Registry will reduce bank default rate, boost production and create employment.
“It will also cut down the cost of verifying borrowers by 35 per cent, therefore reducing the cost of credit and non-performing loans,” he said.
NAN reports that as at March 31, 631 financial institutions comprising 21 Deposit Money Banks, four Merchant Banks, one Non- Interest Bank and four Development Finance Institutions have registered on the portal.
Also, 553 Microfinance Banks, 13 Non-Bank Financial Institutions and 34 Finance Companies have registered their institutions on the portal.
Mainasara said that in the utilisation of the assets registered, banks would consider depreciation, which would impact on the loan value.
NAN also reports that the NCR is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with support from the World Bank to improve access to finance particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
According to Mainasara, the Registry supports the acceptability of movable assets such as equipment, machinery, vehicles, crops, livestock, account receivables, inventories, and jewellery among others as collateral for loans by financial institutions.
He said with the Registry, a borrower could seek credit from a financial institution with the intention of using his movable assets as collateral for loan.
The Registrar explained that the financial institution would then check with the Registry to ascertain that the pledged movable asset had not been earlier pledged to any other institution as collateral for running loans facility.
He added that the online search is generally made using the unique Bank Verification Number (BVN) in the caseof an individual and registration number in case of a corporate entity.