By Hope Moses-Ashike, Business Day Online
In spite of the challenges and uncertainties that characterised the microfinance banking sub-sector, the financial result of Infinity Microfinance bank showed significant improvement, as it posted 55.9 percent profit After Tax from N28.7 million in December 31, 2010 to N44.7 million in the financial year ended December 31, 2011.
Its profit before tax grew to N47.4 million in December 31, 2011 from N30.4 million recorded the previous year, representing 56.05 percent increase.
Similarly, the bank’s total asset rose by 48 percent to N303.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 from N204.7 million in December 31, 2010.
Gross earning of the bank increased by 47 percent from N104.4 million in December 31, 2010 to N153.4 million in December 31, 2011.
Peter Asu, chairman of the bank attributed the performance to the bank’s focus on core business which is to support the micro and small scale business and also because of the unrelenting commitment of the bank’s customer which it had earned over the years.
Asu who disclosed the financial result at the 7th annual general meeting held at the banks premises said the Infinity brand is yet to fully tap all its full potentials in the Lagos area and that there are abundant opportunities to further deepen the bank’s reach within the existing and new locations in the new year.
“Our bank will continue to optimise our brand value through excellent customer service, professionalism and integrity in the years ahead.
According to him, the bank’s partnership with the Lagos State government and Lagos State Microfinance Institution (LASMI) has been growing stronger and rewarding.
“We remain grateful to the Lagos State government for the opportunity given to us which has enabled us to increase our reach into Lagosians on microfinance services”, he said.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting Clara Oloniniyi, managing director/CEO of the bank said she was grateful to God for the wisdom and direction given to the management and staff of the bank for the period under review.
She added that the little experience gained from the sub-sector contributed to the performance of the bank.
However, the bank declared dividend of 4 kobo per share for all existing shareholders on the bank’s register as at December 31, 2011.
Also the shareholders approved bonus share of one for one for all existing shareholders on the bank’s register as at December 31, 2011.
From Business Day Online
Infinity Microfinance Bank on Wednesday said it had introduced the use of Point of Sale (PoS) terminals to improve service delivery to customers.
Mrs Clara Oloniniyi, the Managing Director of the bank said in Lagos that the bank had acquired 80 PoS terminals and distributed them among its loan officers. She said that the loan officers had been going to the customers to get them to make deposits and loan repayment through the PoS.
Oloniniyi said the bank introduced the POS terminals to stem the rate of frauds being perpetrated by some loan officers of microfinance banks. “Customers of microfinance banks are being defrauded large sums of money regularly by some loans officers.
“Some of the loan officers would not record and account for the deposits or loan repayments from customers, which are factors disfiguring microfinance banks today. “With the deployment of the terminals, we now monitor customers’ transactions with our loan officers effectively,’’ she said. Oloniniyi, who is also the treasurer of the Lagos Chapter of National Association of Microfinance Banks, said that Nigerians needed to know that microfinance banks were genuine and had passion to help the active poor. “We want to tackle the problems that may want to prevent our vision from being realised,’’ she said.
She said the bank had recruited qualified Information Communication Technology (ICT) experts, in addition to deploying PoS, to enable it monitor and analyse transactions effectively. Oloniniyi said that the bank had 12 meeting points with over 50,000 customers in Lagos State.
She said that the bank often deployed management staff to these meeting points to enlighten customers on the cashless policy. “We realised that some of these micro traders do not want to key in to the policy, fearing that they may be defrauded.”
But the bank is putting in all efforts to encourage our customers to embrace the policy and ensure that their transactions are secured.
Oikocredit disbursed its first loan in Nigeria to Infinity Microfinance Bank Limited. The loan of NGN 50 million (€ 240,385) from Oikocredit will be used to increase Infinity MFB’s credit portfolio. The credits will be granted to low-income, micro and small entrepreneurs predominantly involved in petty trading in Lagos State.
Mrs Ufuoma Eghwerehe, country manager Oikocredit Nigeria: ‘’the extension of the loan will promote socio-economic development of Infinity clients and contribute to fulfilling Oikocredit’s mission of empowering low-income individuals and microentrepreneurs in Africa.”
Infinity Microfinance Bank Limited started in 2001 as a grass roots organisation, Infinity Community Savings, to offer a platform for mobilizing savings and providing loans among grass roots artisans and entrepreneurs. It became a regulated Microfinance Bank (MFB) in 2007. Infinity MFB currently serves about 51,000 clients, of which almost 27,000 borrowers. Its total assets stand at NGN 348 million and the loan portfolio size amounts to NGN 181 million.
With a population of 155 million of which 108 million (70%) lives below the poverty line, Nigeria offers a large, potential market for microfinance and social services. Nigeria has over 866 registered microfinance banks (MFBs) and more than 200 non-registered NGO-MFIs. The MFBs have about 1 million clients in total, still only 0.6% of the country’s population.
Following its strategy to increase outreach in Africa, Oikocredit opened an office in Nigeria end 2010 and officially launched its operations there the following year.
By Matthew Asabor, Nigerian Tribune
The Managing Director of Infinity Microfinance Bank, Lagos, Mrs Clara Oloniniyi, has said that the bank is set to empower the active poor in the state.
Oloniniyi said this at the event organised to mark the 10th anniversary of the the bank recently.
According to her, last year was difficult in financial industry, but the compassion to revive farming pushes the bank ahead.
She also said that the bank would continue to remain faithful and committed to its calling through continuous empowerment and urged customers at large to ensure that all loans borrowed from any microfinance bank in the country are repaid in due time.
She called on all relevant authorities in the country not to relent in their efforts in supporting microfinance banks in the states.
Mrs Florence Umade, a textile dealer and customer of Infinity Microfinance Bank, however, urged the Federal Government to support dedicated microfinance banks in the country.
She also stressed that despite the challenges of funding facing microfinance banks, the institution remained truly committed to economically handicapped through empowerment in every sector.
According to her, she had been a benefactor of micro loans up to N700 thousand collected in .
From Punch on the Web
The Managing Director of Infinity Microfinance Bank, Mrs. Clara Oloniniyi, said the bank disbursed about N195m loans to 21,741 customers in the last two years.
Oloniniyi disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday as part of activities marking the bank’s 10th anniversary.
NAN reports that Infinity Microfinance Bank started operation as an ‘esusu’ outfit on Nov. 1, 2001, but received its microfinance banking licence in October, 2007.
She said that out of the amount, N118,079m was disbursed in 2010 while N76.918m was given out in 2011.
“The beneficiaries consist of 10,653 men and 11,088 women,” she said.
Oloniniyi said that the bank’s strong business policy was responsible for its survival in spite of challenges facing the sector.
“We ensure that right people manned the key positions without compromise.
“Although there have been challenges of infidelity and that of finding and grooming new people to cope with our plan.
“But we ensure that all avenues that such infidelities occurred were sealed to prevent collaboration by people that may have plans to steal the bank’s money.
“We also introduced new method of disbursing our loans and ensure that our internal control teams do not relent in checking the loans,” she said.
She said that the bank would ever remain true to the mission of economically empowering micro entrepreneurs and low income earners in the country.
Oloniniyi advised government at all levels to educate Nigerians on microfinance banking as operators could not do this alone.
From The Guardian
LAGOS State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Joke Orelope-Adefulire, has affirmed the readiness of the state government to support 10 microfinance banks to enable them serve the active poor.
Orelope-Adefulire made the pledge when officials of Lagos State Chapter of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) visited her in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the association was seeking N10 billion from the state government to assist the 182 microfinance banks operating in Lagos State.
The commissioner said that the state government was ready to help microfinance banks so that they could develop and meet their objectives. She advised the operators to ensure that they operated satisfactorily.
Chairman of the association, Olufemi Babajide, said that the appeal was a demonstration of the desire of operators to raise the standard of living of the active poor and empower the youth.
He said that the N10 billion being sought would enable the banks execute their various poverty alleviation programmes
“Lagos State is big and it is the commercial capital of Nigeria and has the largest concentration of microfinance banks that cut across the 57 local governments and development areas of the state.
“So the grant will in no small measure impact positively on the lives of the people of the state,” he said.
Babajide described microfinance banks as viable institutions that were capable of impacting positively on the lives of the active poor.
He said that the association had set up seven committees and successfully grouped the 182 microfinance banks in the state under 11 local governments.
Managing Director of Infinity Microfinance Bank, Mrs. Clara Oloniyi, expressed regret over the inability of the sector to live up to expectations.
She said that the association had marked out programmes that would ensure the success of the sector, stressing that the sector would no longer be hiding place for touts.
“We also appealed to the state government to help sensitise the public that any money borrowed from microfinance banks should be paid back as when due.
“Microfinance banks are not institutions through which democracy dividends are gotten,” she said.
“We also implore the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to publish the names of microfinance banks loan defaulters as he did for commercial banks,” Oloniyi said.