Microfinance banks urge Kwara govt to rescue finance houses

 Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin 

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The Kwara state government has been urged to save Micro Finance Banks(MFBs), from imminent collapse by rescinding decision of removing the salaries of the state civil servants, local government workers and pensioners from MFBs.

The State Chairman of MFBs,  Ahmad Baba-Suleiman made the appeal in Ilorin on Wednesday while speaking with newsmen at a news conference.

According to him, most of the workers owed the banks  about N1billion,adding that if their salaries are removed,  the workers will not pay their debts.

Suleiman explained that the effort being made by the financial institutions to meet up with the Central Banks recapitalisation policy would be jeopardised, if the state government remained adamant on its decision.

“The services being rendered to the civil servants and the poor masses of which the Finance banks were designed to serve,  will no longer be achieved because they can not meet the requirements set by the commercial banks, all these is because Kwara state is a civil service state “ he added.

He also lamented  that the new policy by the state government would  deny the civil servants and the poor masses, of which the MFBs were designed to serve as it  will no longer be achieved because they cannot meet the requirements set by commercial banks, because according to him, Kwara is a civil service state.

The chairman appealed to the state government to give the the affected banks time to enable them resolve the issues in dispute.

He assured the state government that the microfinance banks would  assist in blocking all financial  leakages  but however,  implored  the government  to impress on its ministries and agencies to make use of the nuban number when posting their staff salaries  to the MFBs account.

Suleiman also explained that presently,  the MFBs have about twenty eight banks across the state with about two thousand staff and close to thirteen thousand, four hundred and thirty eight  civil servants and pensioners  banking with the banks in only fifteen MFBs that they are able to capture as at Tuesday 25th, February, 2020.

He also told newsmen that it is on record today that most parts of the state are without the presence of commercial banks which will in turn be stressful for civil servants to enjoy the desirable banking services of their salary accounts are  moved from their immediate environment.

The state government had earlier directed its workers that are operating microfinance banks for their salary account, to immediately open accounts in commercial banks.

The Commissioner of Finance, Mrs Commissioner Florence Oyeyemi, told newsmen in Ilorin recently that the directive became necessary to ease process of salary payment and avoid technical errors which could cause unnecessary delay in workers getting their entitlements, as at when due.

“All Kwara state civil servants are mandated to open salary account with commercial banks between February 5 and 18,2020 for the purpose of salary payments as payment will no longer be made to any Microfinance bank account,” she said.

The commissioner also said that the issue was in line with the agreements in place as negotiations on the payment of the new minimum wage reached an advanced stage.

Meanwhile,  most of the affected civil servants on Thursday stormed the affected microfinance banks  in the state to abide fully by the directive of the state government and possibly offset their debts which is the only condition whereby their February salaries would be paid.

 

Peace PIAK