The new Executive Secretary of the Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (DMSMA) Mrs. Shimite Bello, has pledged that the Delta State government, will explore every legitimate avenue to recover outstanding debts from individuals and corporatives, particularly clients of the state micro credit programme (DMCP) and Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) micro, small and medium enterprise fund (MSMEF), granted them by the state.
Mrs. Bello, who handed down the warning in Agbor, Ika South local government area of the state, during a town hall meeting with stakeholders, said that the state government was worried by the spate of revelations from clients of both programmes, suggesting that they are indebted to the state to the tune of about N2 billion since 2007.
Mrs. Shimite Bello, who took over from Dr. Anthonia Ashiedu, Dr. Ashiedu, the pioneer Executive Secretary of The Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, further noted that most worrisome was the fact that majority of the debtors appear to be relaxed in their efforts towards repayments of the loans, even as she added that this situation may be based on their misconstrued stance that the loans were for political settlements.
Sounding a clear warning to the debtors, she emphasised that the funds were not for any form of political settlement, patronage or national cake, stressing that the present administration is now fully out to recover all the debts in order to ensure continuity of the programmes.
Present at the townhall meeting were stakeholders including the chairman, Association of Micro Finance Banks, Delta State chapter, Mr. Prosper Irogbo, Chairman, Mainland Micro Finance Bank, Mr. Monday Apaokwueze, head of Boji Boji Micro Finance Bank Mr. Jonathan Onwueze, and other major players in the industry.
Deltans will recall that the Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, was set up when Governor Uduaghan signed the bill to change the Delta State Micro Credit Programme, DMCP, into an agency in October 2014, which according to the former Governor was established by legislation, to “ensure the protection of our micro credit programme for which we have put in a lot and is beneficial to the people at the lowest rungs in society”.
Uduaghan had further said at that that, “Since 2007 a lot of our activities have been targeted at the pro poor, this enabled us to deal with the Delta Beyond oil at that level. Now we have an agency that will protect our micro credit activities,” the governor had said while signing the bill for the agency into law”.
Dr. Ashiedu was appointed by former Governor Uduaghan, as the pioneer Executive Secretary of the agency in October 2014.
Mrs. Shimite Bello, became the second Executive Secretary of the DSMSA, after she was appointed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, following the dissolution of the former Board.
Mrs. Shimite Bello brings to bear on her new portfolio, a leadership brilliance which is infused with a thorough understanding of the African rural community, rural financing strategies and the African marketplace.