At the fourth Microfinance Conference in Abuja, Nigeria, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, announced that all microfinance bank CEOs would be required to pass a CBN administered exam in order to continue managing their banks. A training program will be held during the first quarter of this year, with certificates being issued at the end of the exercise. Any bank that does not comply with the rules will have its license withdrawn.
Mr Sanusi also announced that CBN plans to work with the United Nations to conduct an audit of microfinance banks in the country.
As part of the reforms in the banking industry, managing directors of microfinance banks will now face Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) organised exams. Any manager who fails the test will cease to manage their banks.
Addressing microfinance bank executives during the 4th Microfinance Conference in Abuja, the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, disclosed that a training programme will commence in the first quarter of the year and any bank that does not comply with the rules would have its licence withdrawn.
Sanusi noted that certificates will be issued at the end of the exercise. According to him, CBN had begun the process of reviewing the microfinance policies and would soon commence an audit of the banks.
The apex bank’s governor observed that microfinance banks were already facing challenges bordering on inadequate funding, poor corporate governance, poor risk management and investment mismatch.
To this effect, he said that the bank would collaborate with the United Nations (UN) to provide the road map in the auditing.
While declaring open the two-day event, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan hailed the actions of CBN in sanitising the banks saying that the actions were taken in the interest of the economy.
Approving the examination of the banks’ chief executives, the Vice President told the CBN management to make the exams more practical than theoretical because a lower qualified executive who is not corrupt is better than a higher qualified executive who is corrupt, adding that good managers may not necessarily be good academically.
“The key issue is that they must be competent and must not compromise standards,” he said.
He expressed optimism that Nigerians are competent to change their economy and move the nation forward.
For him, to move the nation forward, small units, like a family, with entrepreneurial acumen can do so and not when one is as big as Dangote Group of Companies.
The vice president, however, promised that the Federal Government would provide the infrastructure necessary for the smooth operation of entrepreneurs.