NIRSAL MFB Says Alleged Diversion of AGSMEIS Loan Unfounded
NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) has said allegations that it had diverted the sum of N5 million loan facility under the
Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) with respect to a beneficiary was unfounded and baseless.
The bank also noted that the alleged diversion of “AGSMEIS loan of N5 million was by staff of NMFB is far from the truth”.
In a statement made available to Economic Confidential in Abuja by its Head of Corporate Communications, Halima Idris Omar, the bank described the incident in question as a, “rare case of swap of phone numbers with similar names in 2019, when full automation had not been deployed.”
While clarifying the doubts, the bank said: “The fact of the matter is that this was a rare case of swap of phone numbers with similar names in 2019, when full automation had not been deployed.
“The phone numbers of two applicants bearing the same name (Rebecca Daniel and Rebecca Zamari Daniel) exchanged places during the disbursement process.
“Incidentally, both had AGSMEIS loan approvals for different sums. Upon disbursement, the loan of N500,000.00 was approved in favor of the rightful person using her Bank Verification Number (BVN) but with a wrong phone number.”
Omar, however posited that the loan had since been utilised by the said beneficiary in early 2020 while repayment had also commenced after moratorium.
“This explains why Rebecca Zamari Daniel was receiving text messages for the repayment of a N500,000 loan.
“Presently, the information mismatch has been sorted and the N5 million loan for Rebecca Zamari Daniel booked. “
The statement added that the AGSMEIS application process had now been improved by leveraging on technology to bring about efficiency following fully-automated process from start to finish.
The statement further said the applicants are now able to carry out a BVN validation exercise, conduct a credit bureau check and provide guarantors online, whereas online questionnaire replaces physical or telephone interview.
Essentially, the AGSMEIS loan is one of the initiatives of the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which aims to support SMEs and agri-businesses.
Omar explained that given the onerous task of administering the disbursements of loans to thousands in bulk by NMFB, “it is not out of place that we receive customer feedback, both positive, negative and even unfounded.
“One of such came in the form of an unresearched report alleging the bank misappropriated N5 million relating to an AGSMEIS loan beneficiary.”
He assured the public that the accusations were unfounded and baseless.