By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Kwara State Government has been urged to reverse its policy of moving civil servants accounts domiciled with Micro finance banks to commercial banks.
Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks, Kwara state chapter, Alhaji Ahmad Baba Suleiman, made the appeal while addressing journalists on Wednesday in Ilorin.
He expressed shock with the announcement of the government that civil servants, pensioners and other categories of workers under the payroll of the state government should stop banking with microfinance banks in the state.
Alhaji Baba Suleiman noted that the press briefing was not meant to be confrontational with the state government or any of its agencies but rather to suggest a way forward to partner with government on how to improve the economy of the state to further create employment opportunities.
While passionately appealing to the state government to rescind the decision, the Chairman said the Association had made concerted efforts to meet top government officials, but it was shocking that despite the ongoing dialogue between government and the Association, a circular was issued that civil servants still operating with microfinance banks would not be paid February salary.
Alhaji Baba Suleiman also pleaded with the government to give the microfinance banks three months from March this year to tidy their documents with the switching companies which is at 70 percent completion stage to enable the government pay directly to civil servants’ accounts and eliminate the ghost workers’ syndrome.
He debunked the insinuation that most customers of microfinance banks have no Bank Verification Number, saying that all their customers have BVN, generated as new accounts are opened
According to him, there are 28 microfinance banks in the state with about 2,000 staff and 13,438 civil servants and pensioners presently banking with 15 microfinance banks, adding that they are indebted to the banks to the tune of about one billion naira.
He said if government continues with the policy to move civil servants to commercial banks, it is likely to cause loss of jobs if the banks are insolvent, thereby increasing unemployment rate in the state.