By Olamilekan FAWAS
A financial expert, Mr Ajayi Godfrey, on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to establish an independent regulatory body to oversee the activities of microfinance banks in the country.
Godfrey made the call on Wednesday in Lagos during a training on Strategic Financial Inclusion for Micro Finance Institutions and Banks.
The training was organised by G-Consulting International Services in conjunction with Financial Inclusion Advocacy Centre, Ghana.
He said Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department (OFISD) of Central Bank of Nigeria saddled with monitoring micro finance banks was already overwhelmed by other duties imposed on it.
According to him, OFISD is overseeing 23 commercial banks, over 900 microfinance banks and all mortgage banks, among others.
Godfrey, who is Chief Executive of G-Consulting International Services, said that setting up an independent regulator for microfinance banks would improve the efficiency of the sub-sector.
The financial expert also urged government to promulgate an enabling law for the setting up of such regulatory body. He called for the grouping of microfinance banks into tiers, based on their capitalisation and healthiness. “This is because some microfinance banks are denting the integrity of the good ones,” he said.
The training was attended by 30 participants drawn from microfinance banks, Rivers State Microfinance Agency, FGN-IFAD Climate Adaption Agribusiness Support Program and Monetary Systems Outfit, among others.