Nigeria: Certification programme for microfinance to start 2008 — CBN

Apr 2007
Nigeria, April, 20 2007 - Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that a systematic certification programme for regulators and operators of microfinance will commence in January 2008, as part of the capacity building measures aimed at ensuring a robust microfinance industry in the country

CBN’s Deputy Governor, Financial Sector surveillance, Mr. Tunde Lemo disclosed this, recently, in Lagos while delivering a paper on “Policy Issues in Microfinance” at a one-day annual seminar of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES). Lemo who was represented by Deputy Director, Other Financial Institutions Department (OFID) of CBN, Mr. Femi Fabanwo, said that in order to ensure the success of the programme, the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) and Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) have been selected to collaborate with the apex bank on the project.

He said that high standards will be set for the certificate which will be benchmarked on international best practices and curricula, adding that the apex bank intends to enforce compliance with the certification requirements within three years.

He emphasized the need to “ensure self-sustainability of the certification process, driven by credibility and professionalism on the part of the two selected institutions and effective oversight of the supervisory board.”

In his welcome address, NES President, Prof. Joe Umo, said that though the practice of microfinance in Nigeria is more than 40 years, the recent successful consolidation of the banking sector has made it a priority policy issue in the country for now. 

According to him, the urgent and compelling case for micro finance in Nigeria stems from: the need to fill the banking gap left by the fact that all banks in the system are now mega banks and may therefore not accommodate the interests of small operators, especially in investment lending; the emergence of the funding needs of the micro, small and medium enterprises, which are the development vehicles of tackling the challenges of wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction facing the country; the problem of intermediation whereby borrowers and lenders hardly converge to bring about investment; and the opportunistic public attitude to loans, with many people regarding loans as their share of the ‘National cake’, which should not be repaid.

He therefore challenged all stakeholders in the microfinance sector of the economy to address all the issues and others that can hamper the successful implementation of the microfinance policy in the country.

Source : Vanguard

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