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Beware of fraudsters parading as bankers, association warns

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PHOTO: George Osodi/Bloomberg

The Oyo State Chairman, National Association of Micro Finance Banks, Femi Jegede, has warned Nigerians seeking financial support to be wary of fraudsters, who parade themselves as operators of microfinance banks in Nigeria.

He said many conmen were now moving around in uniforms seeking to defraud unsuspecting and innocent traders in the name of helping them access funding for their businesses.

Jegede spoke at the official opening of Grooming Microfinance Bank Limited, in Ojoo, Ibadan, noting that many of those portraying themselves as microfinance banks are not licensed operators.

The event, which held at the office complex of the new bank, was well attended by stakeholders and operators in the banking sector, including top government functionary, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials, community leaders, partner bankers, traditional rulers and a host of others.

Speaking against the backdrop of a recent warning by the CBN warning customers against fraudsters who parade themselves as MFB operators, Jegede noted that the state chapter of the association opted for the option of embarking on a series of campaign to sensitise the public, since it lacked the power to arrest illegal operators.

While commending the management of Grooming MFB for the opening of the branch, the state chairman expressed optimism that the new bank will make accessing finance and funding for petty traders, small and medium scale entrepreneurs and others readily available with best practices.

Addressing customers, the Chief Executive Officer, Grooming Centre, the parent company of Grooming MFB, Dr. Godwin Nwabunka, said the new bank is delighted to open in the city to support traders, especially women and youth in the business drive by providing them with funding and supporting their businesses to stand.

He said the bank is working with the World Bank Group to do a universal financial access, and is one of the 16 institutions worldwide selected for the purpose.

He noted that the intention of the bank is to replicate in Nigeria what obtains in Eastern Africa, and Latin America through globally known best practices with a complete team of Nigerian experts.

He noted that the bank is concerned with the health and awareness requirements of its clients, by engaging in sensitisation on health issues such as ebola fever, lassa fever, breast cancer, healthy eating, hygiene, sanitisation and a host of other.
Nwabunka also assured that the bank targets to create a holistic and one-stop window to meet all the financial needs as well as other needs of the clients.

The Baale of Ojoo, Chief Amusa Olagboyega, who was represented by Chief Yekini Adigun, the Otun Balogun of Ojoo, lauded the bank for the deeming it fit to choose the axis to establish the bank. He noted that many women and traders in the locality are already testifying to the help and financial support provided to their businesses by the bank.


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