Microfinance banks decry losses after loan

The Chairman of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Kwara State Chapter, Alhaji Ahmad Baba-Suleiman, decried the huge amount owed by civil servants in microfinance banks across Kwara state.

According to him, many civil servants that have accounts with Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) in Kwara are owing over N1 billion as loans.

The association addressed journalists to appeal to the State Government to reserve its order mandating state civil servants to close their accounts with microfinance banks and open the same with commercial banks if their salaries are to be paid.

Suleiman said that there were about 28 microfinance banks operating in the state with about 2,000 staff strength.

“Close to 13,438 civil servants and pensioners presently banking with our banks only 15 MFBs that we were able to capture as on Tuesday 25th February 2020. About 2,000 workforces of these MFBs are likely to lose their jobs in the event that these banks are insolvent thereby increasing unemployment rate in the state,” Suleiman said.

He said his association was shocked with the plan by the present administration that civil servants, pensioners and other categories of workers on the payroll of the state government should cease to bank with microfinance banks in the state.

He added that the body have made efforts to meet with top government officials and even passionate letters and memos to the governor and commissioner for finance about the development.

Suleiman appealed to the state government to give affected banks, majorly owned by indigenes of the state three months from March, 2020, to tidy their documents with the switching companies.

The association chairman said it was not true that all microfinance bank’s customers have no Bank Verification Number (BVN).

He added that apart from generating NUBAN number for new accounts, all old accounts in microfinance banks have been converted to NUBAN number.

Suleiman said there were lots of implications if the government refused to reconsider its ground on the new directives.

“Part of the implication is increased in bad debts which would automatically affect the banks. In addition, meeting up with the new recapitalisation policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria may be jeopardised, if the government insists on its stand.

“Apart from that, civil servants banking with the MFBs are presently indebted to the tune of about N1 billion, retrieving the debts may be difficult,” he said.

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