Agric Business - Business - News - July 9, 2021

NIRSAL clarifies controversy on alleged AGSMEIS loan diversion

MEDIATRACNET

NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) has clarified the controversy surrounding alleged diversion of N5million loan approved for a customer under the Agri-Business Small & Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
The Bank clarified on Thursday that rather than a case of diversion of the loan, the controversy was as a result of customers information mismatch, which has since been resolved.
AGSMEIS is one of the initiatives of the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) established to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agri-businesses.
The NMFB, which is mandated to administer the disbursements of loans in bulk to applicants gave the clarification on the circumstances under the controversy arose.
“In discharging our mandate, 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 N5million relating to an AGSMEIS loan beneficiary.
“We wish to inform the general public that the allegation that an AGSMEIS loan of N5million was diverted by staff of NMFB is far from the truth.
“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 favour of the rightful person using her Bank Verification Number (BVN), but with a wrong phone number.
“This loan has since been utilized by the said beneficiary in early 2020 and repayment 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 N5million loan for Rebecca Zamari Daniel booked,” the Bank said in a statement in Abuja.
The Bank said that the AGSMEIS application process has now been improved upon, by leveraging on technology to bring about efficiency, as the process is now fully automated from start to finish.
On the application portal (https://agsmeisapp.com.ng), NMFB said applicants are now able to carry out a BVN validation exercise, conduct a Credit Bureau check and provide guarantors online, while online questionnaire replaces physical or telephone interview.
NIRSAL MFB reiterated its commitment to delivering its services in a seamless manner for a more rewarding experience for our customers

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