The management of the National Economic Reconstruction Fund has said it would engage the services of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the recovery of its non-performing loans, which are estimated at about N17.2bn.
Some 1,143 projects in the Small and Medium Enterprises sector were financed with the loans between 2010 and 2013.
The Acting Managing Director, NERFUND, Dr. Ezekiel Oseni, disclosed the plan to engage the EFCC in the loan recovery efforts in Abuja on the sidelines of a meeting with a delegation from the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association led by its Secretary-General, Mr. Saleh Gashua.
Until Oseni’s appointment last month, NERFUND, which was set up to provide medium to long-term financing to Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises, had been engulfed in crisis, which prompted the Federal Government to shut it down.
However on the loan recovery efforts, Oseni said the bank had embarked on an aggressive drive.
According to him, some of the strategies include identifying and engaging the various customers to work out repayment options and sale of the assets of those whose projects are on ground but are unable to pay back.
The NERFUND boss also stated that as part of the moves to encourage repayment, the agency was ready to grant concession on the interests on the loans to certain category of customers.
Oseni said, “Many of the loans that constitute the N17.2bn have been hanging for more than 10 years. What we are doing presently is to get the customers to repay. We have reached out to some of them. This one month that I have resumed, a lot of them have been coming in to make some payment to us. I expect the rate of recovery to be higher than what we are experiencing right now.
“What we are planning to do is to give them a little more time to enable them to respond.”