Bono Ahafo Microfinance crisis growing into security crisis

Bono Ahafo Micro Finance crisis has grown into a security crisis as aggrieved clients demonstrate attack and threaten to stop financial institutions from operating.

There have been demonstrations in places such as Sunyani, Nkoranza and in Berekum, towns in the region.

Led by Alex Obeng, parents, teenagers, youth and the old took to the streets of Berekum on Wednesday, demanding action. They have issued a two-week ultimatum after which they will make it impossible for other financial institutions to operate.

According to the leader of a group of dissatisfied clients, Alex Obeng, Godislove Microfinance company owes GHC 80m whist Jarstar Motors and Investment owes 90 million Ghana cedis.

Alex Obeng told Joy FM, they have waited for more than six months for their monies to be refunded them after some of these companies were closed down last year.

On Sunday, a staff of the Jerryson FM linked to one of the microfinance companies, Jarstar Motors and Investment, had his child kidnapped by an angry client. With police intervention, the child has been re-united with the parents.

There was an attack on Jerryson FM where staff abandoned the station out of fear. Jarstar Motors and Investments has since been closed down.

On Tuesday, some clients at Nkoranza chased out the DCE during a forum to address their concerns.

Signs of a microfinance crisis began in July last year in Sunyani after DKM Microfinance crashed. In November 2015, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the DKM Diamond Microfinance Company Limited, Mr Martin Delle, was unable to satisfy bail conditions and was remanded in prison custody.

The microfinance crisis has since last year, spread to other areas in the Bono Ahafo region. The agitations intensified Wednesday after the BoG revoked the licences of 70 money lending and microfinance companies.

The affected companies include Mckeown Microfinance Limited, City Trust, Ezi Access Microfinance, Agapet Micro-finance First Unity Microfinance Limited and Golden Life Microfinance Limited.

The BoG explained the 70 companies failed to meet all the requirements to be given the final approval to operate after they were issued with provisional licenses in July 2015.

Affected clients of these companies say they can not wait any longer for their re-funds.

“We have petitioned President [but] nothing is going on, so we are demonstrating to tell the world, to tell the people that the situation in Berekum is unbearable and we need our money back. Until we get our money back, we are not going to sit down for people to collect our money and connive with Bank of Ghana and misuse our money while we are suffering.’’

But the MCE of Berekum, Opoku Boakye Yiadom, has rejected accusations that authorities in the region sat by unconcerned for the plight of the people to be worsened.

He said pressure has been brought to bear on the owners of some of these distressed companies to refund client deposits. Some CEOs of these distressed companies have been put on BNI enquiry bail, he revealed.

The Bono Ahafo Regional Security Council is set to meet on the crisis, the MCE revealed on Joy FM’s Top Story

Listen to Top Story
Story by Ghana||Edwin Appiah|[email protected]

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