A microfinance bank operator, Mr Godwin Ehigiamuose, has lauded Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on its modalities for the disbursement of the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) loan. Ehigiamuose, who is the Managing Director, Lapo Micro Finance, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that the CBN’s modalities for the disbursement were satisfactory.
He therefore urged all microfinance bank operators in the country to abide by the guidelines. NAN reports that Lapo Micro Finance received N100 million at the launch of the Fund by President Goodluck Jonathan at the just-concluded 8th Annual MSME Finance Conference and Entrepreneurship Award on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ehigiamuose said, “All operators must first present a list of all potential borrowers, their businesses, addresses and telephone numbers.
“That will show that they are able, at any point in time, to get in touch with the beneficiaries and confirm that they got the fund,” he said.
He said that the new scheme was the first time that low income earners in the country would be getting a loan at nine per cent interest rate. He described the arrangement for lending the fund to potential beneficiaries as “unique initiative” compared with previous modalities.
On recovery of the fund, Ehigiamouse said that with strong institutions like Lapo Micro Finance, there were existing modalities that made borrowers to take responsibility for the loans they took.
“I think what the CBN is putting in place now is that all those who require the money should get it and properly utilize it. “The follow-up will be to ensure prompt repayments,’’ he said. He said that the fund would be a revolving loan, adding that part of what qualified Lapo MFB to be among the first to access the fund was its proven records.
On Lapo being the only firm given money at the launch of the fund, he disclosed that it was the first microfinance company licensed by the CBN.
Besides, he said that the firm had, in the 20 years of its operation, proved to be responsible through its records and large network. “We at the moment providing services to 1.2 million women in 27
states; we disburse average of N8.3 billion every month,” Ehigiamuose said.
He said that the bank had the capacity to do more, adding that as a pro-poor organization, Lapo microfinance was in a better position to help the MSME scheme to work well. (NAN)