Microfinance Focus June 29, 2011: The microfinance sector in Ghana is presently facing a crisis situation and is on the verge of a collapse largely due to the refusal of microcredit schemes to beneficiaries and the failure of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) to pay loans owed by the sector. In addition, the sector is being hampered by political interference as per reports from Ghana Dot.
MASLOC is a microfinance apex body responsible for implementing the Government of Ghana’s (GoG) microfinance programmes targeted at reducing poverty, creating jobs and wealth. MASLOC not only disburses micro and small loans to the identified poor in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy, but also provides business advisory services, training and capacity building to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and draws together institutions, to provide the required skills and knowledge in managing their businesses effectively. Every beneficiary of the centre is expected to pay back the loan ranging from six months to seven years depending on the size of the loan.
Unfortunately, since its establishment in 2006, MASLOC has not been able to live up to the aspirations of the government and people of Ghana, according to reports.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MASLOC, Bertha Ansah-Djan said that the centre currently had no money to give to players of the small scale sector of the Ghanaian economy.
She added, “Over GH¢80 million is being owed by some beneficiaries of the scheme for the past two years. These include taxi drivers, farmers, market traders, animal husbandries, and vegetable farmers.”
According to news reports, since the assumption of office of the Mills-led government (2009 to date), the centre had not been able to disburse any fund to any individual(s), and group(s). Their efforts of recovering the state funds from the defaulters were being hindered by the lack of data..
Few beneficiaries of the centre confirmed that the loans got from the centre were put into their businesses. But they could not make profit to pay back the centre.