By Kingsley OMONOBI, Abuja
OVER N200 million has been recovered by the Federal Capital Territory Police Command on behalf of banks and other financial institutions from fraudulent persons who either presented fake dud cheques or tried to deceive these financial institutions after securing one form of loan or the other.
Making this known in his office, when the National Association of Micro-Finance Banks (NAMB) visited him in Abuja, Mr. Haruna John, FCT Police Commissioner said the feat was achieved adding that since he assumed office at the Command, no robbery incident has succeeded in any Micro-finance institution or any banking institution in the FCT.
Describing the decision of the executive members of the association to visit the FCT Command as timely, the CP said the police was now in a position to work with the body to flush out suspicious and fraudulent people or groups masquerading as Micro-finance banks in the FCT.
Earlier, Mr. Rogers Nwoke, Chairman of the association disclosed that there are about 50 microfinance banks in FCT with more that 90% operating in Abuja metropolis and the satellite towns adding that ‘Since the commencement of the microfinance regime, the FCT has witnessed tremendous growth in the number of people who have access to micro-credits and other financial services tailor-made for micro, small and medium enterprises”.
“The micro finance subsector in the FCT has an asset base of more than N10billion while loans in excess of N5.9billion have been disbursed as at April 2010 in which more than 10, 000 micro businesses have benefitted”, he said.
Continuing he said, “As providers of financial services where cash is dominant in all transactions, we recognize that our partnership with Nigeria Police need to be very strong.
By the nature of our market and businesses, microfinance banks collect cash door to door from micro savers. This puts our banks to the risk of pilferage by cash collectors, abuse by fraudulent people and violent attacks by criminals”.
“Most often, our members do not get the maximum cooperation from their local police posts where the matters are first reported. Many erstwhile staff of microfinance banks have gotten away with stolen cash. We need your support to deal with this menace which is capable of destroying the confidence and trust in the system.”
“One way to provide the support is to set up a special team to investigate and prosecute bank staff involved in fraud to achieve speed in dealing with the guilty as this will serve as deterrent to others”, Nwoke said. Other members of the executive that accompanied the chairman are Mr. Clifford Zirra, Phillips Ioryina, Frances Bekey, Eustace Nosike, Lucas Negedu, and Kodi Ohakah.