Chief Executive of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Abibata Zakariah has been on mission to transform the outfit since his appointment in September 2021.
It appears after a year of intense efforts by the Columbia University graduate, her efforts are yielding impressive results.
Studies show that the CEO launched a blitz of internal changes that are making tremendous impact on pro-poor and lower income economic empowerment.
From day one of her appointment, Madam Zakariah launched a strategic operational plan to establish a singular operational focus and direction for the organization.
The plan realigned the focus of the organization to center on mostly women, the youth, the physically challenged persons and men.
The plan also placed recovery and solvency of MASLOC’s revolving fund as topmost priority.
During this period, the Government’s cost containment measures taken to stabilize the economy exposed the risks of MASLOC’s dependency on Government of Ghana funding.
To address this problem, in an amazing and first of its kind achievement for MASLOC, this year the CEO successfully negotiated and secured a multi-million-dollar injection of funds from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help fund MSME loans across Ghana as well as enhancing the digitalization drive of MASLOC.
This amazing feat will allow MASLOC to continue to carry on its core mandate of non-traditional loans to the pro-poor during this challenging post covid-19 recovery period.
Our sources also revealed that the CEO is also currently in negotiations with other international agencies for additional MSME loan funding for Ghana through MASLOC.
In direct implementation of her strategic plan and the President of Ghana’s directive that the majority of MASLOC’s funding should come from the recovery of already disbursed loans, the CEO recently also concluded agreements for professional private loan recovery agencies to help in recovery of the millions of Ghana Cedis in outstanding disbursed loans.
In the span of one year the CEO has also successfully completed the MASLOC digitalization project with nationwide training starting in the third quarter of this year.
This digitalized system will eliminate paper-based transactions of MASLOC and strengthen accountability and oversight in the loan application, disbursement, and repayment processes.
The new system will also include a Mobile Money Payment Platform. Details of the system were outlined during a nationwide stakeholder- engagement tour, where the CEO and her team engaged directly with all MASLOC stakeholders across the country.
Recently, the CEO and her team have increased the thresholds of group loan amounts from GHS 1,000 to GHS 5,000 depending on the type of trade as well as promoting the ease to access loans by making the required documentation flexible and relaxed.
The new operational efficiencies have resulted in hiring of new Regional Managers and the opening of offices in all the six newly created regional capitals to complete the national coverage of sixteen regional capitals.
Along with the increased national coverage, the MASLOC team has implemented monthly metrics and performance review procedures, strengthened monitoring and evaluation, employee performance reward schemes and tasked the two Deputy CEOs with zonal performance oversight across the country.
These remarkable changes at MASLOC have in a short time improved current Vehicle Hire Purchase ( VHP) product repayment of 100% with no defaults with the recently disbursed VW Gol Salon Cars. Last weekend, MASLOC successfully disbursed 1.7million GHS in loans to over 1000 beneficiaries in Ashanti Region. In the coming weeks, we will see more disbursements across the country.
The CEO will soon announce modalities for MSMEs to access the Multi-Million AfDB loan facility. In these challenging global economic times, the team at MASLOC and their CEO are keeping the hopes of MSMEs and economic empowerment for the pro-poor alive.
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