By Amaka Agwuegbo
THE Union for the Survival and Sustenance of Micro-enterprises in Nigeria (USSOMEN) has said the union aims to activate the consciousness of the grass-root people so as to fight the increasing rate of poverty.
Speaking at its recently held pre-inaugural meeting in Lagos, the union said is coming at a time of economic recession that has left adverse and negative effects on the micro sub-sector of the economy.
â€œApart from the microfinance banks that are under the supervisory purview of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, other informal financial institutions like thrift collectors, NGOs, co-operative societies, etc, donâ€™t have operational modules and no umbrella body for support and supervision.
â€œUSSOMEN aims to provide such and much more as it would cut across all strata of the informal financial institutions and give them a voice, build a pool of funds, source for funds to assist members that may have liquidity problems and to align with the CBNâ€™s economic reforms.â€
The Union pointed out that it is not out to negate the essence of the National Association of Microfinance Banks, NAMB, but to have a vibrant and robust for the informal financial institutions that are not under the purview of the CBN.
â€œIn the light of this, since we draw membership from the informal financial institutions, the managing directors of any MFB that wishes to join the Union can do so as an individual and not as a representative of his bank.â€
In a 6-point communiquÃ© that was issued at the end of the meeting, USSOMEN resolved that: that the name of the union will reflect its objectives to encompass all micro-enterprise and entrepreneurs; that the union shall be fashioned after the Rochdale Society in England; that we are not out to challenge or run a parallel association with the National Association of Microfinance Banks, NAMB, or any other union; that we are identified with the economic framework policies and reforms of the CBN, we shall key into the policies and play our roles in ensuring the recovery, growth and stability of the Nigerian economy.
Others are that membership of the union is restricted to informal financial institutions that their operations are not regulated by the CBN and NDIC; that the governing of the union will be democratic and resolutions will be simply by majority; and the MD of any MFB that wishes to join the union will do so as an individual and not as a representative of his bank.