by Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby
Eighty per cent of Nationwide Microbank’s customers were previously unbanked, with 65 per cent living in rural areas.
That’s according to United Nation’s Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), UN’s capital investment agency.
UNCDF says Nationwide Microbank’s financial literacy program enables customers to understand the importance of banking. The people of Gumine district in Simbu province will now participate in similar training, thanks to a partnership between Gumine district and Nationwide Microbank.
Gumine district is the first district to utilise the Micash service, where funds are managed and financial training is provided by the microbank at the same time. The authorities making funding available for this program were signed by all parties at parliament house today, Wednesday 04th March, 2015.
Following the signing, an initial deposit of K1.6 million will be transferred to Nationwide Microbank, formerly the Wau Microbank, to manage the 45 wards.
Gumine MP and Education Minister Nick Kuman says the partnership will roll out the Ward Empowerment Strategy for Gumine district. Under the arrangement, the member’s office will make funds available for the 45 wards in Gumine.
Nationwide Microbank Managing Director Tony Westaway says the microBank will only manage funds and provide training for successful small business applicants. This includes trade stores and businesses for small scale vegetable and livestock farmers.
After every six months, officers from Nationwide Microbank will go out on the ground to see for themselves how various businesses are progressing.
Apart from accessing the funds and getting necessary financial literacy training, the people of Gumine will also access other services and loan products offered by Nationwide Microbank.