By Amaka Agwuegbo
President, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Chief Matthias Omeh, has warned operators against insider abuses and fraudulent practices, saying this would further undermine public confidence in the MFB sector.
Speaking at the inaugural reception for newly elected zonal and state executives held in Enugu State, Omeh said the issue of self regulation has become a very important element in the growth and sustenance of the MFB. â€œSelf-regulation is one of the cardinal programes critically demanded of NAMB by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Implementing self-regulation entailed identifying and reporting fraudulent operators and defaulting loan beneficiaries to the regulatory bodies, including the EFCC as this creates ethical problems when MFB directors and staff are involved.
â€œThe clean up of the industry should start from within, so, we must keep our house in order. Internal abuse must stop, depositorsâ€™ fund or money you have invested in your banks must not be tampered with.â€
Also speaking, the former National President of Community Banks in Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Chief Ifeanyichukwu Enechukwu, urged MFB operators to play by the rules so as to enjoy the full benefits of the emerging industry.
He projected that microfinance banking would take over as the pillar and pride of the Nigerian economy within five years since it was closer to the greater population of the people.
In the address of honour, the newly elected Chairman of the South-East zone of NAMB, Dr. M. M. Iheukwumere, while commending Omeh for his sterling leadership qualities, pledged the support of the zone towards the success of NAMB.
Meanwhile, the zonal elections of the South-East zone produced Dr. M. M. Iheukwumere from Abia State as the Zonal chairman; Mr. J.O. Ogbonna from Imo State as the Vice Chairman; Comrade Onuaku Osita from Anambra State as the General Secretary; Mr. C.U. Achidike from Imo State as Assistant General Secretary.
Others are Mr. Mike Ezeanyim from Enugu State as Treasurer; Mr. Enem Ikechukwu from Ebonyi State as Financial Secretary; and Mr. Ikechukwu Nwankwo from Enugu State as Publicity Secretary.
In the same vein, the Enugu State Chapter elections saw Dr. Ben Ezike, a director with Aku Diewa MFB, Aku being elected chairman; Mrs. Nnenna Ekete, MD, Umuchinemere Procredit MFB as Vice Chairman; Mr. Emma Onah, a director with Tri-star MFB, Eha-Alumona as Secretary; Mr. Clement Oramulu, a director with Bethel MFB, as Assistant Secretary. Others are Rev. Fr. Dr. Emma Ugwu, a director with Kenechukwu MFB, as Treasurer; Mr. Emeka Okediadi, a Managing Director with UNN MFB, as Financial Secretary; and Mr. Chike Okwudili as Publicity Secretary.