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TMCNet:  Micro Banks Want Direct Access to NAPEP's Fund

[June 28, 2010]

Micro Banks Want Direct Access to NAPEP's Fund

Jun 28, 2010 (Daily Trust/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- The operators of Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) in the country have urged the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) to give them direct access to its 'meso' credit scheme meant for medium scale agric-business and not through commercial banks.

"Meso" credit is a new scheme designed by NAPEP to provide loans of between N500, 000 to N50 million for agricultural processing in the rural communities.

Co-ordinator of NAPEP Dr. Magnus L. Kpakol said the "meso" credit fund will be given to commercial banks for on lending to qualify micro finance banks at competitive rates who will then lend to the final beneficiaries.

Speaking in Abuja at a meeting between top officials of NAPEP and Chief Executives Officers of Micro Finance Institutions, Odukoye Olusoji of Imode Imosen community bank, Ogun State said subjecting them to commercial banks will be counterproductive because most of the banks are their competitors.

He said: "Most of the commercial banks today also operate micro finance banking so how are we sure that they will be fair to us as their competitors? "They are not interested in rural transformation. You can deal with us directly or through our association or through the Central Bank of Nigeria which regulates us." Also speaking, Mustapha Mohammed Managing Director of Phonix Micro Finance Bank Suleja, Niger State said most commercial banks are not interested in rural transformation which is a contradiction to the goal of the 'meso' credit scheme.

He said with the recent efforts put in place by the CBN to reposition the MFBs, NAPEP should have the confidence to deal with them directly.

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