Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose yesterday ordered the closure of microfinance banks for allegedly shortchanging their customers in the disbursement of the second tranche of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s loans to small and medium enterprises (SMES).
He gave the order when he met with the management of microfinance banks and some aggrieved customers in Ado-Ekiti where he directed that all the anomalies in the disbursement of the funds should be corrected immediately.
Some of the bank customers had complained that they were paid much less than what they applied and signed for.
He said some people only wanted to defraud innocent beneficiaries of the special intervention fund.
“Part of my duty is to defend the people and we won’t fold our arms and allow some people take advantage of others. I held a meeting with the banks and they assured that they would handle everything well before I signed to get the money from the CBN.
“If they can’t handle it, let us return the money to the CBN. Any bank, state or bank official indicted will be dealt with. The bank will be shut down and the officials duly punished.
“While we won’t condone beneficiaries not repaying or seeing the money as a kind of largesse, we won’t also allow anybody to be cheated,” he added.
The state had earlier be given N500 million in the first tranche and the same amount for the second tranche out of the N2 billion it was expected to benefit from the programme.