Ekiti State Governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose, has ordered the closure of any microfinance bank shortchanging their customers in the disbursement of the second tranche of Central Bank of Nigeria’s soft loans to small and medium scale enterprises (SMES).
The governor gave the order yesterday when he met with the management of the banks and some aggrieved customers in Ado-Ekiti.
In a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, he quoted the governor as saying that all the anomalies in the disbursement of the funds must be corrected immediately.
Some of the bank customers had complained to the governor that they were paid much less than what they signed for.
For instance, some of them said they signed for N100,000 and were paid N66,000, and that the affected banks were giving flimsy excuses for the discrepancies.
Those mostly affected were customers of Ulayin Microfinance Bank, Ado-Ekiti.
However, explaining what happened, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr Tope Omojola, said the mistake came from their software provider that debited the customers’ accounts twice and added that the error was being corrected.
Governor Fayose, in his observations, frowned at deducting one month repayment upfront.
He added that what they deducted were too far from a month’s upfront repayment, saying some people only wanted to defraud innocent beneficiaries of the special intervention fund.
“Part of my duty is to defend the people and we won’t fold our arms and allow some people take advantage of others. I held a meeting with these banks and they gave me the assurance that they would handle everything well before I signed to get the money from the CBN.
” If they can’t handle it, let us return the money to the CBN. Any bank, state or bank official indicted will be dealt with. The bank will be shut down and the officials duly punished. While we won’t condone beneficiaries not repaying or seeing the money as a kind of largesse, we won’t also allow for cheating of anybody,” he added.
Recall that the state had earlier be given N500 million in the first tranche and same amount for the second tranche out of the N2 billion it is expected to benefit from the programme.