Nirsal MFB Denies Alleged Extortion of Loan Applicants

22 Aug 2021

NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) yesterday denied claims that its staff had extorted applicants and promised to grant them approvals for their loan requests.

In a statement, the bank management described the accusation as not only spurious but unfounded as “NMFB frowns at any form of unethical practices or unprofessional conduct which contravenes our policy and core values”.

Some aggrieved individuals who applied for loans under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Agribusiness Small & Medium Enterprises Scheme (AGSMEIS) had alleged that the bank conspired with Entrepreneurial Development Institutions (EDIs) to extort money from applicants with the promise to grant them approvals for their loan requests.

“NMFB has repeatedly warned applicants, through various social media platforms, that the AGSMEIS loan application process is individual-based, after the completion of a N10,000-cost training exercise by NMFB-accredited Entrepreneurial Development Institutions, EDIs.

“The business plan, which is also automatically generated on the portal, has two options – a free application and another that cost N5,000. Applicants have the liberty to use any of the two business plan options. No EDI has the right to charge extra cost,” the statement added.

The bank further urged applicants to report any observed anomalies or form of solicitation directly or through its whistleblower channels.

It also said that applicants who were recently sent a decline application message due to their inability to meet our set current risk assessment criteria that they could re-apply with a business plan tailored to the new maximum of N3 million threshold at no cost to them.

“Once again, we remind all Nigerians that the AGSMEIS loan is not a grant but a loan” it added.

Source : This Day