By Abdulrahaman Kadiri
Some leading banking and development experts have called on the Federal Government to involve Microfinance Banks (MFBs) in the disbursement of poverty alleviation funds.
The experts, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that involving the MFBs would help the government to achieve the objectives of the poverty alleviation programmes.
This is coming on the heel of alleged abuses in the disbursement of poverty alleviation funds by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
The National Chairman of Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN), Dr Uju Ogubunka, said that MFBs would best serve the purpose of disbursing the funds to the poor in the country.
Ogubunka, a former Registrar of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said that the MFBs are better positioned to handle financial services of poor people especially, at the rural areas.
The President of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Dr Ken Ukaoha, said the financial impropriety at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation attested to the existence of deep-rooted corruption in the public service.
According to him, this should be frontally tackled by the relevant authorities in order to alleviate the prevalent multidimensional poverty in the country.
Ukaoha said that channeling social intervention funds through the MFBs would ensure transparency and accountability in the disbursements.
“MFBs are guided by monetary principles in all areas of their operations.
“More so, accessibility of the funds at the local level where small-scale farmers predominantly operate will be more guaranteed.
“The government should get the MFBs involved in getting these funds to the beneficiaries to achieve the goals of the programmes.
“This will also support these grassroots-oriented micro lenders to grow in this very,” he said.
The Chairman, Association of Nigerian Exporters (ANE), Prince Joseph Idiong, said ot was important to involve the MFBs in the disbursements considering their reach.
“I prefer the use of MFBs that have strong capitalisation, national or regional spread.
“State government- owned MFBs could also be used as the state governments can be held responsible,” he said.
A former National Chairman of Association of Small-Scale Agro-Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN), Amina Jubrin, said that the MFBs are best positioned to efficiently disburse these funds in order to achieve the objective of poverty alleviation.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola