The Microfinance Support Centre (MSC) has launched its first satellite office in Ngoma town council, Nakaseke district. Speaking at the launch, the Centre’s Chairperson, Dr. Kisamba-Mugerwa, explained that it was part of the continuous efforts of the board and management to take financial services closer to the people. He informed invited guests that whereas the Centre had twelve regional offices and agencies in every district through which it operates, they were not enough to meet the financial needs of the people, especially those in areas that are financially excluded.
He added that due to limited access to financial services (Ngoma is approximately 132kms from Kampala, with the nearest bank situated about 60km away in Luweero town), MSC had simplified the loan application process and requirements. “Because they call this place a hard to reach area, we have made things easier for you to access finances. You need a national identification card, a recommendation letter from the area chairperson and passport size photographs,” he said.
The Nakaseke Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr. Nayebare Fred, who was the guest of honor, commended MSC for the initiative, saying it will save residents from the jaws of loan sharks who have long taken advantage of the people. He revealed that money lenders charge interests rates as high as ten percent per month, making it difficult for many to do business. “I have been a friend of MSC for a long time and I have been an advocate for its services. Now that they have come closer, I will work with them to ensure that our people benefit,” he said.
Alfred Ejanu, the Centre’s head of credit, disclosed that since the office opened to the public a week before the launch, they had disbursed loans worth Ugsh.40m to six eligible clients, three of whom were present at the event and recognized as pioneer clients.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Kisamba-Mugerwa urged potential borrowers to repay loans advanced to them to enable others benefit from the same. He emphasized that although MSC is a government agency, its services are not free of charge but are affordable, taking into account the plight of the people it is mandated to serve.
The event ended with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the guest of honor and a tour of the facilities.