Cameroon: Microfinance Loan Delinquency - Prevention Bureau Goes Operational
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Cameroon, June, 22 2018 - The newly created Risk Prevention Bureau for Microfinance Institutions (CREMF) has been launched. It was launched yesterday June 21 by the Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze who doubles as President of the National Credit Council.
The new institution is a brainchild of the Council, put in place to help microfinance institutions make informed choices with regards to issuing loans to their respective customers. CREMF collects and disseminates information on the worthiness of customers of microfinance institution.
This means every institution will be able to consult the system whenever a customer applies for loans before deciding whether or not to grant the request. Through the system, they will be able to tell whether the customer has unpaid loans in other microfinance institutions and also whether he has the potential to reimburse loans within agreed periods.
This system of information sharing is expected to limit over-indebtedness of customers and also significantly reduce the loan delinquency rate in the sector which currently stands at 22.9 per cent, according to statistic from the National Credit Council. The rate with ordinary banks is 13.3 per cent. Minister Louis Paul Motaze said at the launching ceremony that the initiative will strengthen the financial system by making it secure and efficient.
Meanwhile, the Vice President of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) Dieudonné Evou Mekou saw CREMF as a credit policy that would facilitate development and emergency of Cameroon and other countries in Central Africa.
He urged countries in the sub region to emulate Cameroon and use the institutions to reinforce financial stability that would foster economic growth. Shey Nfor Musa, President of the Cameroon Credit Union League (CAMCCUL) who doubles as President of the National Association of Microfinance Institutions, pledged that microfinance institutions will collaborate with CREMF in order to make its efforts fruitful.
He however pointed out that the creation of the institution is just one step in the right direction and pleaded with the Minister of Finance to do more. "Our microfinance institutions do not follow classical methods to issue loans in terms of required securities. This makes it difficult for them to recover borrowed money.
The judicial procedure for recovery is not really favourable for us. A majority of our institutions are in rural areas with little access to internet connectivity needed to use CREMF services. We need government to do more, especially in facilitating recovery of loans" he said.