By Margaret Umoren
Akwa Ibom State Government has tasked Managing Directors of Micro Finance Banks in the State on aggressive recovery of the non-interest CBN loans earlier given to members of the public through the State Government.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr Nsikan Nkan gave the charge in Uyo during a routine meeting with Managing Directors of participating Micro Finance Banks (MFBs).
Mr Nkan who directed the MFBS to employ all legitimate means in recovering the funds noted that prompt and regular remittances to the State Government’s account would facilitate the smooth commencement of another tranche of the non-interest loans to more beneficiaries.
The Finance boss frowned at the low remittances from some MFBs and warned that Government will not hesitate to clamp down on defaulting MFBs.
Mr Nkan hinted that Government is set to launch another tranche of the Scheme as a way of enhancing the socio-economic well being of people and stressed that the scheme has great potential to provide meaningful source of livelihood to the teeming population.
He therefore, advised MFBs to adhere to the terms of agreement as Government would soon apply more stringent measures on defaulting banks.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Eme-ete Imuk advised the MFBs to apply the “Know Your Customer” (KYC) banking policy in dealing with the beneficiaries as this would enable them categorise the beneficiaries according to their levels of cooperation as well as get more relevant information about them.
She urged the MFBs to update their data-base on regular basis with useful information about the beneficiaries including the staff ID card numbers of their guarantors as stated in the terms of the Scheme.
While assuring participating MFBs of needed assistance, Mrs Imuk admonished them to submit regular reports on the beneficiaries to the Government so as to ensure necessary actions on defaulters.
Speaking during the meeting, some MFB Directors who decried the molestation of their staff members on duty by some beneficiaries of the scheme requested Government to provide them with security support to enable them recover loans from recalcitrant beneficiaries.
It could be recalled that the State Government had participated in the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) loan scheme to facilitate easy access of people at the grassroots to credit facilities in order to boost the economic and commercial activities of the State.
So far, three tranches of disbursements have been made and over 15 thousand individuals and cooperative societies have benefited from the Akwa Ibom State Micro Credit Scheme. Some Micro Finance Banks who partnered the State Government were given the task to disburse and recover the loans.