NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) has described as false and baseless, the allegations that it had diverted the sum of N5 million loan facility under the Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).

The bank also noted that the alleged diversion of “AGSMEIS loan of N5 million was by staff of NMFB is far from the truth”.

In a statement made available to Finance journalists in Abuja by the Head of Corporate Communications, Halima Idris Omar, the bank clarified that the incident was as a result of, “rare case of swap of phone numbers with similar names in 2019, when full automation had not been deployed.”

The bank said: “The fact of the matter is that this was a rare case of swap of phone numbers with similar names in 2019, when full automation had not been deployed.
“The phone numbers of two applicants bearing the same name (Rebecca Daniel and Rebecca Zamari Daniel) exchanged places during the disbursement process.
“Incidentally, both had AGSMEIS loan approvals for different sums. Upon disbursement, the loan of N500,000.00 was approved in favor of the rightful person using her Bank Verification Number (BVN) but with a wrong phone number.”

Omar, further said that the loan had since been utilised by the said beneficiary in early 2020 while repayment had also commenced after moratorium.

“This explains why Rebecca Zamari Daniel was receiving text messages for the repayment of a N500,000 loan.
“Presently, the information mismatch has been sorted and the N5 million loan for Rebecca Zamari Daniel booked”.

The statement added that the AGSMEIS application process had now been improved by leveraging on technology to bring about efficiency following fully-automated process from start to finish.

The statement further said the applicants are now able to carry out a BVN validation exercise, conduct a credit bureau check and provide guarantors online, whereas online questionnaire replaces physical or telephone interview.