Some borrowers from microfinance banks have decried their exemption from loan tenor extension in the banking industry, which some commercial banks introduced for their borrowers to soften the effect of the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the borrowers complained that the MfBs had been mounting pressure on them to repay their loans immediately, despite the lockdown which lasted in some parts of the country for weeks.
A borrower, Kayode Ajala, said, “My microfinance bank has been harassing me to repay my loan. They come to my house and shout on me but there was lockdown for weeks and I could not open my shop to sell anything.
“When I told them that the commercial banks were giving loan tenor extension after the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced measures to lighten the challenges of coronavirus on the economy, they asked if it was CBN that was funding them?”
Another borrower, Ranti Ekundayo, said, “The microfinance banks are not even considering our plight or customer relations. They just want us to pay by force now irrespective of the hardship, even when we had not been operating because of the lockdown.”
However, some of the microfinance banks denied harassing the customers to repay their loans.
During the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 on the economy, the bank took decisive action to safeguard the Nigerian financial system and the economy from the emerging headwinds.
He said, “The key policies include provision of extended moratorium on loans by an additional one year beginning from March 2020.”