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Microfinance banks lack adequate manpower

By Amaka Agwuegbo

The Lagos State chapter of the National Association of Microfinance Banks has listed inadequate manpower as bane to the progress of the microfinance bank sector.

Speaking after the general meeting of the association, the chairman of the association’s training committee, Mr. Tony Egbeogu, said the problem of inadequate manpower and low quality of staff in the MFB sector has made it difficult for the staff to keep their records straight.

“Because of the major problem of inadequate manpower in terms of quality staff, this affects their performance, making it difficult for them to keep proper records. So you’ll discover that in a bank, only one or two persons have the needed experience. Also, some of them do not know how to monitor loans, thereby; we have situations where they give loans without proper appraisals,” Egbeogu said.

In light of this, the association is organizing a capacity building workshop for directors, chairmen, managing directors and staffers of MFBs to train them on proper corporate governance, credit and marketing, bank operations, among other issues bordering on microfinancing.
Emphasizing that the training is not as a result of the illiquidity problems rocking the MFB sector, the training committee chairman said the training will be on capacity building so as to teach them manage their portfolios.

“The training is not as a result of the liquidity crisis. The liquidity crisis is a separate issue that has to do with the industry as a whole. There are so many factors that are responsible for the training, including the internal and external risk management. Liquidity management is part of the risks to be managed and in such a situation, training along this area will help people to know how to meet the minimum requirements set by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, since that is the most important thing.
“If people are able to comply with the regulations and they know how to monitor their bank positioning, it will go a long way in helping us. This training is hinged on capacity building so that people will know how to prepare proper returns, manage their portfolios, among others.”

Explaining why the association chose CBN officials as facilitators, Egbeogu said “From the experience they have gathered in examining us, they are in the best position to tell us the regulatory framework and operational guidelines which are either deficient or not being followed.

“This will help us a lot because, most times, most of us don’t know that the guidelines under commercial banks are different from those of MFBs, coupled with the fact that we have a situation where most MFB operators are products of commercial banks because the sector is still very young. But, over time, we hope to perfect these shortcomings so as to have a robust industry.”


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