The Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) has since its inception disbursed over GH¢153 million its CEO says.
Mrs Christine Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu, Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC, said the centre was inaugurated in September 2006 with an overall goal of assisting the government to reduce poverty by providing financial assistance to persons who could not assess such facilities with the conventional financial institutions.
As a social intervention programme, the centre had widened its operational scope to include undertaking appropriate reforms and development measures that would strengthen microfinance operation as an effective and viable strategy for poverty reduction.
It also ensures that there was co-ordination, collaboration and complementarity with other non-bank microfinance institutions.
She was speaking Wednesday December 17, 2014 at a MASLOC event to interact with journalists and share some of the success stories of the centre.
Mrs Attionu said with funding from government and some development partners, the centre had achieved many successes through loan support in areas such as primary production, value-added production and microenterprise operation leading to the expansion of job opportunities for a large number of people.
She said the centre shall collaborate with other social intervention institutions such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and School Feeding Programme to create more jobs.
She said the media’s support and role was very critical in educating the public about the activities of MASLOC and the opportunities they offered towards poverty reduction.
MASLOC has since its inception disbursed over GH¢153 million, arising out of injection of new funds and ploughing back of recovered loan, covering 274,277 beneficiaries including 185,717 for females which translates into 67.7 and 88,560 for males ( 32.5 per cent).
According to Mrs Attionu the amount was disbursed to clients under Microfinance and Small Loans, School Feeding Programme and on-lending to microfinance institutions among others.
In 2014, MASLOC also disbursed over GH¢89 million to support various activities in areas including the agricultural sector, microenterprise, alternative livelihood, skills development, vehicle hire purchase, manufacturing, disasters and school feeding, she said.
Mrs Attionu, however, recounted a number of challenges and constraints including its limited loanable funds compared to the number of applicants resulting in inadequate capacity to meet the huge demand and expectation of the public for loans.
She mentioned the challenges of arresting the deterioration of credit and loan portfolios and achieving high loan recovery rates of at least 85 per cent set by MASLOC, and also effectively managing the large client base with limited staff strength.
She said the institution of Loan Recovery Units across the country, expansion to all districts by 2015, becoming a microfinance bank in future to intensify its operations, and partnering with local and foreign agencies to mobilise loanable funds so as to diversify the source of funds, were some of the strategic interventions for the years ahead.
Mr Mustapha B. Abubakar, Deputy Chief Executive of MASLOC, commended the media for the continuous support and publicity and called for stronger partnership to promote national development.