1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It would be observed that, despite the presumed developments in the Nigerian economy, the country is still largely being regarded as a developing country (Onyema, 2006). More so, its industrial growth is not quite impressive.
Before the emergence of formal microfinance institutions, informal microfinance activities flourished all over the country. Traditionally, microfinance in Nigeria entails traditional informal practices such as local money lending, rotating credit and savings practices, credit from friends and relatives, government owned institutional arrangements, poverty reduction programmes etc (Lemo, 2006). The Central Bank of Nigeria Survey in 2001 indicated that the operations of former microfinance institutions in Nigeria are relatively new, as most of them never registered after 1981.
Before now, commercial banks traditionally lend to medium and large enterprises which are judged to be credit-worthy. They avoided doing business with the poor and their micro enterprises because the associated cost and risks are considered to be relatively high (Anyanwu, 2004).
The Federal and State governments have recognized that for sustainable growth and development, the financial empowerment of the rural areas is vital, being the repository of the predominantly poor in society and in particular the SMEs. If this growth strategy is adopted and the latent entrepreneurial capabilities of this large segment of the people is sufficiently stimulated and sustained, then positive multipliers will be felt throughout the economy. To give effect to these aspirations various policies have been instituted over time by the Federal Government to improve rural enterprise production capabilities. (Olaitan 2006)
In view of this, the impact of micro finance bank in economic growth and development of Nigeria started showcasing itself. With the initiative of microfinance, rural areas are opportune to grow and develop as loan and fund are easily given to rural farmers and entrepreneur. Jobs opportunities were created since there is avenue for lending and investing.