Mr Dele Oyekanmi, the Chairman, Ikeja Chapter of National Association of Microfinance Banks, says the association is disturbed by the misperception of the role of microfinance banks.
Oyekanmi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that many people still saw microfinance bank as institutions that finance contracts.
“On several occasions, some people have visited my bank with contract documents soliciting for financial assistance to execute projects without operating an account with the bank,” he said.
Oyekanmi, who is the Managing Director, MoneyWise Microfinance Bank in Lagos, said that “microfinance banks are not institutions that finance contracts, but to serve the active poor”. “What it means is that many people are not conversant with the functions of microfinance banks.
“In 2013, we are going to do more on the enlightenment of the citizens on microfinance banks’ activities.
“This is why publicity through the mass media and workshops will help to create the needed awareness.
“When people come with contract papers, I tell them this is not a finance company and that before you can be granted a loan, you need to have an account with the bank,” he said.
Oyekanmi said that microfinance banks were instituted to assist the active poor to live above poverty level, but not to finance contracts. He reiterated that microfinance banks were quite different from finance firms.