Umuchinemere Pro-Credit Micro Finance Bank gives 2,338 poorest of the poor a total of N194m in 1st six months of 2011

Umuchinemere Pro-Credit Micro Finance Bank gives 2,338 poorest of the poor a total of ₦194m in 1st six months of 2011

The Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank (UPMFB), which was established by Roman Catholic Diocese of Enugu, disbursed approximately a total of ₦194 million in micro financing as group/individual micro loans, advances, micro leasing of certain life enhancing commodities to a total of 2,338 poor and poorest of the poor people within the diocese in the first six months of year 2011.

The bank, which officially commenced business on July 22, 1995 in a very small apartment at a secretariat of the diocese in the heart of the Coal City and later transformed into a microfinance bank in year 2007 and has grown to the status of having four branches; 11 Customer Meeting Points all over the seven local government areas that the diocese is spanning; Authorized Capital base of ₦1billion; paid-up share capital of over ₦250million; and 16 life enhancing products and services, lent out this amount to the poor in the period in keeping strictly to the church's self-set objective to be a catalyst for poverty eradication and economic growth in the society.

In a press statement by the bank, signed by its Public/Media Relations Officer, Sir Abuchi Anueyiagu, the manager in charge of Credit department, Mr. Ikechukwu Ngene, said with the concept of banking for the poor to eradicate poverty in the land very much in mind, Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank was able to lend the ₦194million lifeline to that large number of the poor in its area of operation in just the first six months of the year.

Providing a detailed account of the bank's lending activities within the period under review, the Credit manager said the bank lent a total of ₦181.655m as group micro loans; ₦6.917m as salary over draft/advance; and ₦6.8m in commodity micro leasing.

Mr. Ngene stated that the bank gave a total of 12 tricycles amounting to ₦5.3m and other forms of commodity micro leasing under the period, such as electricity generating set, refrigerators, Computer sets, television sets, etc, to enhance the living condition of the poor in the area. He explains that the total of 2,338 beneficiaries of the loans, advances and micro leasing engage in various small trades and low income earning jobs.

He said people's responsiveness to the products and services of Umuchinemere Micro Finance bank was very impressive and encouraging, expressing dismay that contrary to the concept of microfinance banking being basically introduced to take care of the poorest of the poor in the society, the commercial banks were now competing with microfinance banks over control of the grassroots people or the common man.

He lamented,"When we work hard to groom the poor customers to take our Group Micro loan the commercial banks will just come from nowhere and destabilise that by wooing the customers and they don't do critical analysis of the customers as we do. They're only interested in giving out money, mostly salary clients, without encouraging them to engage in profitable micro credit activities."

On loan repayment default, the bank manager said with the adoption of some internally developed measures UPMFB had been able to check the incidence of non-repayment of loans and that it's on the minimal or declined level now, stressing that the bank tries to minimize risk.

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