Moorgate Micro-Â Â finance Bank, in line with microfinance bank objective of alleviating poverty by providing loans to small and medium scale enterprises, has financed the purchase of N4m worth of diagnostic tools and injector machines for the National Automotive Technicians Association (NATA), which comprise mechanics, panel beaters, re-wirers and other artisans involved in auto repairs in Lagos State.
The Managing Director/CEO, Moorgate MFB, Mr. Gbolahan Bello, said the gesture is aimed at supporting low-level businesses by improving their trade and productivity and, by ex-tension, the stateâ€™s economy.
â€œMoorgate MFB got involved in financing the equipment because we want to empower and improve their worth, which is one of the cardinal functions of micro-finance banks. Before now, when you take your vehicle for repairs to most mechanics, they engage in trial by error to ascertain what the fault is. But with these new equipment, all that needs to be done is to plug the machine to the vehicle which would tell them what the fault is,â€ Bello stated.
â€œThis is done by the machine generating a code to show what the problem is and were repairs need to be effected. This makes the job easier, the number of man-hours spent on fixing one car is reduced and their level of productivity is increased,â€ he added.
Bello said that officials of NATA have been discussing with the Federal Government about funding the equipment, but because the funds were not forthcoming, Moorgate MFB had to jump-start the process by making the fund available.
He revealed that when the Federal Government makes available the money, the association can use it to purchase other things that might be needed for their work.
The Moorgate boss is optimistic that his bank would be able to achieve such feat in each local government area of Lagos State by helping finance the purchase of such equipment.
On steps put in place to ensure that the association doesnâ€™t default in repaying, Bello said the service of a consultant has been employed to manage the scheme and a certain amount from the daily proceeds of the association would be remitted.
Speaking on the general assessment of the industry, the Bello said though the microfinance industry is still young, it has good potentials because it is the bank of the future. He appealed to the public not to liken MFBs to the finance houses of the past which were not well regulated.
â€œMFBs,â€ he said, â€œare under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and are well regulated because the CBN officials regularly come to check our books. So, the public should give us time to evolve because any thriving economy needs the services of microfinance banks. There might be a few shakeups, but the industry would grow.â€
He added that, â€œThough most commercial bank are not lending N100,000 or N50,000, there are some businesses that need as little as N20,000 to survive. If the mega-banks donâ€™t give them loans, where would they get it? This is one of the gaps that MFB would fill and I believe we have a future.â€