Microfinance officials to produce detail of Emyooga beneficiaries

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Microfinance officials to produce detail of Emyooga beneficiaries
Officials from Microfinance Support Centre while appearing before PAC

The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) instructed officials from the Microfinance Support Centre to compile a comprehensive list detailing recipients of Emyooga funds in the 2022/23 fiscal year.

PAC also directed that the list comes with specifics on loan amounts disbursed and recovered.

This directive followed revelations by the Auditor General that over 70 percent of loans issued by the agency remain outstanding.

Frustration mounted during the committee session when it was abruptly halted due to incomplete documentation provided by the agency, failing to meet the MPs’ information requirements.

“We are conducting an audit for the financial year, focusing on funds received, disbursed, and utilized, totaling Shs135 billion allocated for lending,” said Muwanga Kivumbi, the committee chairperson.

Kivumbi said the officials at Microfinance Support Centre had to carry along the records of those who borrowed, when they took the money and how much they took.

“We are auditing for a financial year, the rest of the figures that we asked for are for trend analysis and our audit purpose is for 2022/23 for the monies received and monies given out," he said.

"And monies utilized because you have a historical mandate to make money and in this financial year, you had Shs135 billion to lend out. Did you lend out all of it, if you said you lent out all of it, to who? We want the list of the beneficiaries, who gets what. Is that asking for too much?”

Susan Amero, woman MP for Amuria, questioned discrepancies in SACCO data, noting instances where districts were ambiguously listed, such as Gulu and Lira, suggesting potential operational ambiguities.

“What is difficult with disaggregating because we want the one which is in the financial year in question? So if you know it is cumulative, why didn’t you give us the portion that we are interested in?" she queried.

"Why are you giving us all because this is quite confusing, you are trying to divert our attention from what we are interested in?”

John Mwebembezi, heead of finance at the Microfinance Support Centre, disclosed that Shs152.7 billion was earmarked for Emyooga funds, combining carry-forward balances with new allocations, of which Shs70.71 billion had been disbursed.

He committed to furnishing a detailed beneficiary list as requested.

“It isn’t asking for too much of course as we keep on coming, we note that MPs require additional information to understand this, not that we intend not to bring," he said

"The MPs need to go into deep portfolio analysis to understand the entire portfolio and initially, that isn’t what we understood, but now we understand that MPs require more information to internalize and we are on the same page,” Mwebembezi added.

Responding to queries on loan performance, Xavier Kyooma, the Ibanda North MP, sought clarity on outstanding balances, particularly distinguishing between principal and accrued penalties, critical for assessing the agency’s financial health amid concerns over loan non-performance flagged by the Auditor General.

“How much of the outstanding is principle and penalties? Because as you go through the queries, there is where the Auditor General said 71 percent of the loans are non-performing and to analyse that, you can only realise it here where the outstanding amount is split between the principle and interest,” he said.

The microfinance support centre officials are expected to appear on Friday at 9am with all the beneficiary lists, defaulters and financial statements of the entity.

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