February 25, 2024

Unilagsun

Serving the university community

UNILAG MFB loans accessible to the university community

By Kehinde Heritage, John Ayotomiwa, Babatunde Peter, Iseoluwa Onadipe, and Victor Chijioke .

In a recent interview with Unilag Sun, UNILAG Microfinance Bank (UNILAG MFB) CEO and Managing Director, Mr Tunji Jayeola, made it known that the bank has different loan packages suitable for the various categories of individuals in the university community. 

He explained further that the bank has an education loan, which is for the students of the University, of which over fifty students applied in the past and were granted. According to him, there is also the salary loan, which is for the staff of the institution. All these are in line with the purpose for which the bank was created—to serve the university community by providing financial services. 

The CEO and his team highlighted the requirements needed to process a loan: documents such as a staff identity card, pay slips, and since it is collateral-free, a guarantor. For students, a valid identity card would be required, and parents or guardians would serve as guarantors. Speaking on the rates of salary loans for staff, a member of the team said, “…our standard business loan is about 3 to 3.5 %, but for them it is 2.5%, which is outrageously low. I am sure they can’t get that anywhere [else].”

In spite of the low-interest rates at the microfinance bank, the bank noted that some members of staff were defaulters. The CEO and his team used the medium to express their displeasure in staff who have refused to pay back. They said that because the bank uses the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the Federal Government will deduct the unpaid staff loans from the source and remit to the bank directly. Also, students who default may risk delayed graduation or a withholding of their certificate. The CEO used the opportunity to appreciate the present university administration under Vice-Chancellor Professor  Folashade Ogunsola, who is using her office to ensure that defaulters pay back. 

Furthermore, Mr Jaiyeola urged students to patronize both the Akoka and Idi-Araba branches of the bank for payments of school fees, hostel fees, departmental levies, medical dues, library fees, and others. He said, “Instead of other commercial banks outside, you can patronize the bank. You should be proud of our own… some pretend they don’t know; we offer various services for the students.” 

He assured students and other members of the university community who think the bank is outmoded and doubt the bank’s ability to deliver its services as promised that their funds are safe at UNILAG MFB as the bank is insured with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).

In reply to a question, the head of the bank said, “Most student think micro finance is for old people? That’s one of the challenges because they don’t trust us. They feel we are small and can’t do what other banks are doing, but we have every product every bank does and are more flexible. You can walk up to us and make your complain and we make it suitable for you and that can’t be done in [other] commercial banks.”

Speaking further on the issue of patronage and fund safety, he said, “At times we beg them for deposits or account opening but some of the departments ask if their money is safe… Every microfinance bank has NDIC; just be aware that your money is safe because it’s a national insurance thing…”

Noting the achievements of the bank and its contributions to the university community, the CEO noted that the bank has empowered and added value to small-scale businesses within the school’s vicinity and, in such and other ways, improved the standard of living within the university community.

Furthermore, Mr Jaiyeola and his team addressed the issue of high charges on deposits made at the bank. This is coming after students of the University of Lagos expressed their dissatisfaction with the high charges that come with making payments for LAGmobile at the microfinance bank. According to the team, the bank’s charges are the lowest when compared to other commercial banks. The extra fee charged for LAGmobile is a fixed charge, they said. They further explained that compulsory charges, such as stamp duty and SMS charges, also affect what students pay as charges. 

About Author