By Ayobami Joel, Abuja
THE Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) has identified Association of Non-Bank Micro Finance Institution of Nigeria (ANMFIN) as a veritable partner to driving the train of financial inclusion and poverty alleviation deeper into the rural communities.
According to the South East Regional Team Leader of PERL, Mrs Ifeoma Chukwuma, who spoke during the one-day interactive session between both organizations on Tuesday, “we were actually unaware of the existence of such a gigantic institutions as ANMFIN, but knowing what we now know, we are hopeful that establishing a formal partnership relationship with ANMFIN towards achieving our collective objective will be a great progress in bridging the current development challenges in the south east zone”
She added that the daunting task of including the financially excluded adult population of Nigerians hovering around 42 million based on available statistics from Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) requires the commitment of public and private sector.
Speaking further, she said: “In changing the quantum of financial literacy and learning opportunities that would enhance access to financial services to the populace, ANMFIN have consistently capacitated the microfinance institutions and catalyzed financial access to millions of Nigeria’s rural population across the country.”
However, these efforts, though considered to be a watershed achievement in comparison with microfinance penetration and access across the globe within the period in review, seems like a tip of the iceberg, in view of the massive demand of financial service by the wide gap of financially excluded population in Nigeria.
Also speaking, President of ANMFIN, Hon. Hamid Giwa Afolabi, congratulated the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn for choosing to identify with a robust and relevant network that is committed to the alleviation of poverty in Nigeria and requested that the “partnership forged between the organizations in the south east zone should be replicated across the other zones in the country”.
While concluding, Afolabi urged ANMFIN members to “take advantage of the present session to understand the objectives and expectations of development partners in order to improve and increase financial services impact in the south east region and Nigeria in general.
The Coordinator, ANMFIN Coordinating Committee for South East Zone, Mr. Oscar Okorie, listed the achievement of ANMFIN to include technical support to Microfinance Institutions in Nigeria, self-regulation of the Non-Bank Microfinance Institutions subsector, design and deployment of ANMFINCLOUD business application software, among others and requested that the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn should consider assisting ANMFIN in the establishment of a wholesale funding for on- lending to microfinance institutions as well as financing the adoption and implementation of microfinance institutions in the south east zone into the ANMFINCLOUD platform for ease and expansion of microfinance services to the financially excluded.
The Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn is a DFID funded 5-year program focused in the delivery of economic stability and enabling environment for private sector so as to promote growth and reduce poverty in Nigeria.