By Ayobami Adedinni
The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) has described as fictitious reports that its members had collective loss of N168 billion in 2016 due to their exposure to non performing loans.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Second Vice President, NAMB, Kola Adams said the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has confirmed it that the story did not come from them
In his words, “We have been able to get through to some of the CBN officials. Nobody is saying that there was ever a time any paper confirmed such from them. Anybody that wants to quote CBN should be able to quote a particular department that gave such information.
We have gotten in touch with them. They said they are not aware of such information. They don’t know how the paper got its information and I think that should be the position of NAMB for now that such info did not come out from CBN.
“We do have Committee of Microfinance Banks (COMB) meeting holding across the nation and there is no particular information that concerns this issue. The meeting of the Southwest will be coming up soon.
“Tuesday, next week will be one for the South-south and that meeting we always have what is called agenda which is known to all members before the meeting and there is none of such issue coming up as an agenda which means that story carried by the paper is fictitious.
“They just want to sell their paper. That is the position for now. We are also working on CBN to put up a rejoinder and educate the public about the position of MFBs in Nigeria,” he added.
On his part, when contacted Head, communication & public affairs, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Malam Hadi Birchi said the corporation has created a window to render assistance to Microfinance Banks (MFBs)s if faced with liquidity crisis.
He said, “There is a window that NDIC has opened to render assistance to those that can be helped especially if they have what is called liquidity crisis. About N100 million was set aside on how they can be assisted in case they have liquidity crisis,
“The Corporation has been liaising with NAMB on how they can be restructured whereby we can talk about consolidation where the big microfinance banks can acquire the small ones especially ones that are viable and merge.” he said.
According to him, about 39 per cent of Nigerians are not in the banking system and therefore NDIC is working with CBN to ensure that they can also be brought in.
He said, “The NDIC in collaboration with CBN has been mounting aggressive campaign on financial literacy and of course financial inclusion so those that have been excluded from the banking system can be brought into the fold.
“As at 2014, 39.5 per cent of Nigerians were not in the banking system. This has reduced to 39 per cent. Although it is marginal, but at least efforts are being made on how this can actually be turned around because so many funds are outside the banking system,” he added.