COVID-19 Loans: Beneficiaries’ Restructuring Window Ends


NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, (NMFB), the purveyor of various COVID-19 loans has closed loan restructuring option window to beneficiary, who defaulted under Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) SMEs and Agric, Small and Medium Enterprise Scheme (AGSMEIS).

Findings by New Telegraph showed that the loan defaulters, who besieged NMFB branches in Abuja with the aim of restructuring their facilities, were bewildered by the bank’s decision to shut the restructuring window.

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The bank began its loan recovery excercise last week, starting with the first batch of COVID – 19 loan beneficiaries, whose facilities were granted two years ago. According to the repayment plan, customers under TCF, SMEs and AGSMEIS facilities were expected to begin a phase liquidation of their loans after a year.

Findings, however, showed that majority of them defaulted on the agreement, a development that prompted the bank to activate the Global Standing Instruction (GSI) mandate. GIS is a Central Bank of Nigeria policy authorising recovery of due loan obligations from any defaulting customer’s accounts.

Direct deductions at source from any of the defaulting customers’ bank account with a liquid balance is permissible by the introduction of Bank Verification Number ( BVN). With the CBN’s GSI policy, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, last Friday, began mass deductions across loan defaulters’ accounts. Narrating his experience to New Telegraph, Mr. Mustapha Ismail, a staff of one of the agencies under Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), said he was in the office when, suddenly, he got alerts from two different banks via an SMS. According to him, “I was in the office on Friday afternoon.

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I received two debit alerts from two different banks. “I was shocked. They debited N60,000 from my First Bank account and another N30,000 plus from Jaiz Bank account. “I was shocked because I didn’t make transaction from either of the accounts to warrant deductions. “I went to my First Bank branchatGarkiwherededuction was traced to GSI for unserviceable loan obligations. “I have heard some people narrating similar experience.” AttheGarkiArea10office of NMFB, some loan beneficiaries, whose various accounts were debited via GSI, visited the bank with the aim to restructure their loans. Request for loan restructuring was turned down by the bank. A bank official at the front desk advised them to stick to the loan repayment plan. An official of the bank, who spoke to this medium on condition of anonymity, explained: “The restructuring window is closed for now. You had two years to restructure TCF. They didn’t make attempt to pay; two years after this facility was granted, for people to be coming with request for restructure is a breach of loan agreement. “They didn’t pay a dime to show a demonstration of good faith. As for AGSMEIS, there is restructuring window, which comes with abiding process.” “You will have to clear your default before you talk of restructuring. It involves alotof procedure,” sheadded.