MFBs accuse NDIC, others of stalling growth

The Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks, Kwara State Chapter, Mr. Joseph Adeyemi, has said the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation of allegedly frustrating the operations and growth of microfinance banks in the country.

He claimed the regulatory agencies often wrote ‘unfriendly reports’ against its members after their routine examinations of the financial institutions.

He, however, canvassed a friendly and cooperative regulatory environment, adding that the business community needed to operate without any form of intimidation.

Adeyemi spoke in Ganmo, Kwara State on Friday on the sidelines of the end-of-year summit of the state’s chapter of the association.

He said, “These regulatory bodies (CBN and NDIC) are supposed to be our friends, but sometimes, their reports after routine examinations could be frustrating. Sometimes, the languages of some of such reports could be highly provocative and discouraging.

“I appeal to our regulatory bodies to be more homely and stop treating the MFBs like commercial banks. Some of the requests and demands by these bodies cannot be met in view of our capital base,” Adeyemi added.

He also appealed to government at all levels to regard MFBs as partners in progress, noting that MFBs employed over 500 Nigerians and gave loans totaling over N100m to customers.

The association leader also said the body was aware of the dwindling federal monthly allocation, advising the government to source additional income from affluent Nigerians, rather than imposing extra tax on MFBs.

The Controller, CBN, Ilorin Office, Mr. Monday Olotewo, denied the allegation that regulatory agencies were being harsh on MFBs.

Olotewo, who was represented by the Head, Development Finance, CBN Ilorin, Mr. Shiaka Dirisu, said monitoring exercises were part of the central bank’s work aimed at ensuring the growth and stability of the financial sector.

He therefore appealed to MFBs to bear with the regulatory agencies.

The controller explained, “I want to also let you know that the CBN has great value for the MFB sector. If you look at the administrative team of the N220bn Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Fund, the association of the MFBs is there.

“If we do not recognise the body, we will not make it a co-administrator of that fund. We have every time realised that without MFBs which are at the grassroots, our interventions would not move. Financial inclusion is coming, so I want to tell us that we need to prepare ourselves.”

The Zonal Controller, NDIC, Ilorin, Mr. Ferdinard Jego, said monitoring was part of the job of the NDIC and the CBN.

Jego, who was represented by the Management Assistant, Ilorin Office, NDIC, Mr. Kamorudeen Alli, added that the exercise was intended to ensure the stability of the MFBs, rather than cripple their activities.

 

Punch

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