From Austine Tule, Makurdi
The Coordinator, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Loan Applicants in Benue, Pastor James Shaakaa, has called on NIRSAL to step up the rate of disbursement of funds to successfully applicants.
Shaakaa made this known while addressing over 5,000 NIRSAL loan applicants in Benue on Wednesday in Makurdi.
“In order to instil trust and confidence in Nigerian youth and entrepreneurs, we humbly suggest that every applicant who has been interviewed since 2019 should be given the loan according to the official conditions before the end 2020.
“To people who are not aware of our plight, this might sound like a negative ultimatum.
“However, over 90 per cent of the loan applicants had to borrow money to be able to fulfil all the conditions and open their accounts with NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.
“Then you will understand why we are under pressure. Also, some of the applicants who are already running their businesses have redesigned their business plans in tune with the expected fund and machinery.
“So, our hope that was very high is being dashed in every single day that passes,” he said.
He further lamented that one of the biggest problems of Nigeria was leadership and lack of political will to implement policies.
He further lamented that the policies that would have impacted positively on the masses lacked quality implementation, for instance the NIRSAL loans.
“President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has laudable policies and programmes but the people handling the implementation are not doing well.
“A critical case in point is the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-NIRSAL loans are a very good initiative that has been promoted by the Buhari’s Government.
“The recently licensed NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) was set up to transform the nation’s development finance sector and make a measurable difference in small businesses across the country.
“Unfortunately, the management of NMFB has built up two major hiccups militating against the basic mandate of this organization,” he said.
The coordinator mentioned the major hiccups to include untimely disbursement of funds to successful applicants all over the nation.
“From March, 2020 up to date we have hundreds of thousands of applicants who have been successfully interviewed without disbursement of funds.
“This is making prospective applicants to lose hope in the organization.
“Also, attachment of successful applicants to specific vendors, the bank is supposed to ask clients to bring proforma invoice from their own vendors and not to impose a vendor on their clients. Doing otherwise looks fraudulent.
“We want to use this medium to appeal to president Buhari and the CBN to monitor and address these two major issues raised above to save this infant bank from administrative bottle necks in order to actualize its mandate,” he said.