The NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NIRSAL-MFB) has teamed up with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to recover N450.9 billion outstanding loans issued to farmers through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

A NIRSAL-MFB source, who made this known to The Newsmen explained that the collaboration was to ensure that all those still indebted paid up.

He explained that “N1.12 trillion was disbursed to 563 anchors,” of which about N670.4 billion” has been repaid.

The NFIU, according to the source, is providing ‘intelligence’ to NIRSAL-MFB to ensure the balance of N450.9 billion was recovered.

His words: “NIRSAL Microfinance Bank and NFIU collaboration is targeted at recovering loans taken by anchor borrower beneficiaries who are defaulting in repayment. This collaboration indicates a more aggressive approach to recovering outstanding loans.

We are determined to recover the N450 billion balance from beneficiaries reluctant to pay back. This shows that the government is committed to recouping these funds.”

The source added the use of Global Standing Instructions (GSI) made many beneficiaries who hitherto were foot-dragging to begin payment.

Many beneficiaries have started repaying what they borrowed not because they wanted to but because of the fear of the GSI, a service of last resort employed by a bank to recover outstanding debts from customers who borrow money and default.

‘’You also know that the instrument also allows the creditor to debit the accounts of a debtor in any financial institution he has funds in.

“ So, the GSI trigger is one of our best instruments. Anywhere you have money in the world we will collect it. Even Nigerians who have left the country cannot escape repayment obligations.”

The official, who acknowledged that some borrowers face challenges in paying back, said that a “self-loan liquidation app” launched by the bank now allows them to “liquidate their loans themselves” online.

The ABP was established in November 2015 to create economic linkages between Small Holder Farmers (SHF) and Anchors.

May 13, 2024

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