The Management of Micro-finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) is to start recovering GH¢81,846,875 owed by defaulting beneficiaries under the scheme, from February this year.
Ms Bertha Ansah-Djan, Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC, who announced this on Monday, said lawyers had been contracted to commence legal procedures to prosecute defaulters and a list of “heavy debtors” had been referred to the Serious Fraud Office and the Bureau of National Investigation for action.
She was speaking at a forum organised for her to formally interact with journalists since assuming office, and to disclose strategies adopted to recover the debt as well as to step up public education on activities of MASLOC, in Accra.
MASLOC was established in 2006 by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government to provide funds for micro and small-scale entrepreneurs to strengthen their operations, as effective and viable strategy for poverty reduction.
Ms Ansah-Djan blamed the previous administration for failing to follow due diligence in disbursing money to beneficiaries, citing weak institutional checks and monitoring as well as improper documentation of beneficiaries.
She said the government also failed to use banks to disburse the money to beneficiaries resulting in the big challenge of recouping the money from defaulters.
Ms Ansah-Djan said: “We are now going to put in place measures to involve the banks to disburse the money”.
She said that management of MASLOC had identified agriculture, School Feeding Programme, salt industry, fishing and the Free School Uniform scheme as areas that needed support.
Ms Ansah-Djan expressed regret that the previous management of the Centre did not have a Board of Directors, a position for a Deputy Chief Executive Officer and strong internal auditing department to ensure efficiency in its operations.
She said MASLOC had put in place strong internal audit and monitoring system to check activities of the centre for equal distribution of funds to deserving beneficiaries.
Ms Ansah-Djan said the new management had also established modalities that were lacking under the previous management in order to ensure effective operations.
She expressed hope that public education on the purpose for disbursing the funds would help prospective beneficiaries to known those who are qualified to access the loan.
Ms Ansah-Djan said: “We have observed that the recovery rate had jumped from six to 30 per cent and this is largely due to the increased public education made through the media and the Town Hall Meeting concept”.
She said MASLOC had instituted an educational department to instruct beneficiaries on the necessary measures to be taken to make their business viable and productive.