Chukwuma identifies why access to finance is still a mirage To SMES and MSMES

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Chief Ken Chukwuma has had over Twenty five years Mortgage and in Microfinance Industry; has initiated and spearheads over four Micro Finance Banks and two Primary Mortgage Banks. Some of which are Jewel Coop Micro Finance Bank at Gombe,  Safeline MFB, INRI MFB and MGSL Mortgage Bank Ltd which was his first assignment.

Currently he is establishing three Micro Finance Banks and repositioning three at three Geopolitical Zones of Nigeria. He describes himself as a Mortgage Finance person and a passionate SME, MSME Resource person. He is a member of Association of Non-Bank Micro Finance Institute of Nigeria (ANMFIN), which he says is a one shop Finance Association that warehouses all MSMEs and SMEs in Nigeria. Itinerant as it may be now it holds both the promise and key to Nigerians Economic growth, as was the case of China. The Chinese Economy today is currently contesting the Largest Economy in the world with the USA is MSME and SME driven.

Central Bank of Nigeria, in its publication on Policies and Regulatory guidelines on Microfinance Banking in Nigeria States that it’s only 35% of the total money in circulation that passes through the formal Banks. That means over 60% of the money in circulation does not and has not entered the formal sector.

This has grave consequences on the liquidity of Banks – available money for lending and project funding. Also no meaningful fiscal and regulatory policy made will be effective. CBN must take up the obligation of stabilizing ANMFIN and making it quasi – regulatory body and platform for the transmission of funds and funding to SMEs. The Current ANMFIN and its supposed drivers can’t add value to any Economic system.

ANMFIN has over four million members against one hundred and twenty million it is supposed to have. This number represents the Rural Unbanked Economic active Poor and urban SMEs. This number operates outside the formal sector with the attendant consequences on the Economy. ANMFIN should be used as a fulcrum to gather these groups and pull them back to the main stream Economy.

The structure and operations of ANMFIN is highly faulty and defective. The founders of ANMFIN meant well.  However this has been misapplied by persons who have private and personal agenda. First they twisted the constitution of ANMFIN, and complicated the entire foundation document. ANMFIN is dying and must not die.

ANMFIN Structure:

There should be a board of Trustees. There should be the National Executive Council chaired by a President and Vice and there should be an Executive Secretary that will head a management Team. The Organogram of ANMFIN should be a variant of that of CBN. It must have MFI supervision unit, and MFI Policy and Regulation unit Development Finance unit.

It is a shame if it is true that officials of CBN are holding talks without addressing the main issues. The foundation members, NEC members, Trustees have tried.  However the house as expanded now has about four Senators, Serving Honorable members etc. and resource persons who established Micro Finance Banks. So the beat must change for the better. Micro as it might seem, it is holding the economic jugular of Nigeria.

The day to day running of ANMFIN should be headed by the Executive Secretary who will be the CEO of ANMFIN. Such a person must have worked in a bank or financial Institute and risen to the position of a Senior Manager. He reports to the NEC body. If an ES is indicted of any offence a committee should be set up to investigate and report to NEC and NEC decision must be rectified by Board of Trustees. Three ES has been removed overnight by NEC Presidents who just get NEC members to sign and now communicate Trustees when they wish. At this point the NEC now takes over the running of ANMFIN. This is improper.

Presidents of ANMFIN are chosen from Rural Cooperative chairmen and women who might not possess the requisite skills training and experience to drive this envisaged financial power house that is expected to boost the Economy of Nigeria. It will be another disastrous omission if CBN does not intervention and address or insist on this reversal.

At the wake of the Microfinance revolution in 2005, Chief Ken Chukwuma and some concerned members of ANMFIN advised that they be allowed to do Micro Mortgage- Small shops to create assets. They should also be supported with a created dedicated fund. This was done but not implemented. Today of a total of 1008 MFBs more than sixty percent is either going or has gone under. Now CBN is acting lately again on MFBs.

Once again ANMFIN holds both key and promise to Nigeria’s economic growth as was the case in China. None should die that can live. A good structure epitomizes good management and in finance management is said to be the key to credit.

 

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