LAPO, SEAP, GURUMI, PEACOM, BETTER LIFE, BETTERBETTER etc A BLESSING OR CURSE TO THE SOCIETY?
It is without a doubt that, the financial crisis has rocked every part of this country. Nigeria Economy at this period can be described as a lion in the forest failing to get any prey to live on. Factually speaking, this is hard and tough time for many Nigerians. As a human being whenever you find yourself in any difficulty the next thing is you opt for another way you think it is best, sometimes if you can’t get the best then you go for the alternative.
The Nigeria Economy has suffered a lot in which many Nigerians. Even non-Nigerians residing in this country as the subset are also suffering and feeling the pains. When the economy is down, poverty grows, unemployment rates increases, the rate of crime increases, the price of necessity goods inflate. What else will not change its initial position when the bedrock of all these things earlier is now dwindling.
As mentioned above, poverty as one of the ugly products of the dwindling economy of any country. It has made many Nigerians seek a way out to sustain their lives. Many Nigerians don’t even care where the assistance or help comes from. They don’t even care about the consequences of the actions they want to take might lead them to. What they want is the ‘money’ to sustain and still remain as a living being.
Amidst all these, many institutions came into existence as saviours to the populace from the sufferings and hardship. Though, these institutions are privately owned financial institutions. The institutions are as follows LAPO, SEAP, GURUMI, and PEACOM BETTER LIFE, BETTERBETTER etc just to mention few.
WHAT ARE LAPO, SEAP, GURUMI, PEACOM BETTER LIFE, BETTERBETTER etc and the likes?
These institutions as mentioned above are financial institutions which are privately owned tend to woo Nigerians. Especially women to grant them loans and these loans to be repaid with a percentage of interest. The loan is not easy giving out to any individual as that, you must be a member of any of the institutions in your area coordinated by one of the agents or workers of such institution.
Becoming a member is not enough, you must be a contributor also, after contributing a certain amount of money then your eligibility status to request for a certain amount of loan is favoured. Your contribution capacity determines what amount can be given to you as loans. If I am not wrong, the minimum amount these financial institutions give out is N20,000. However, I think the financial boost given by these financial institutions to the populace in form of loan at this period of hardship and sufferings should be seen as a blessing at least it will be a relief.
A prior, I also see this helping hand to our people as a blessing. However, unknowing that it is a suffering in disguise more than what such individuals are facing before taking such grant. I have no problem with the grant given to Nigerians if it is being given to our people with a clear procedure. Though I am not saying the financial institutions have not played a vital role in giving out at least financial support to Nigerians at this hard time. However, the disadvantages of this grant of loan given to Nigerians out-weight its advantages.
Firstly, the institution target mostly uneducated women. After careful study, I have come to realize that majority of these institutions target our mothers. They target them because of their level of literacy is low. A question begging for the answer is, why granting the loan to an uneducated fellow with a complex procedure?
To make it clearer, these institutions know many women especially market women are in need of money. They know this is a critical period to survive. They need support to maintain the continuity of their business. Many women don’t even care about the laid down rules or procedures of repayment of the loans. What they are all after is “THE MONEY”.
The agent or worker of such institution also will not care to orientate these women on the loans, what the workers are also after is, how I will report at the office that I have many members in my area or point. Many women have fallen victim of these institutions because of improper orientation about the money given to them. Moreso, they know many of these women are illiterates which mean they can’t even read or understand the terms and conditions of the loans.
Many women don’t even care about the laid down rules. They don’t care about procedures of repayment of the loans what they are all after is “THE MONEY”. The agent or worker of such institution also will not care to orientate these women on the loans. What the workers are also after is, how I will report at the office that I have many members in my area or point. Many women have fallen victim of these institutions because of improper orientation about the money. Moreso, they know many of these women are illiterates. Which means they can’t even read or understand the terms and conditions of the loans.
Furthermore, though I may not have depth knowledge in the field of finance I am certain in well-processed and laid down procedures. No Nigeria bank will ever give out loans without asking why you want to take such loan. These financial institutions called LAAPO, GURUMI, SEAP and others like them don’t care about what the money taken from them will be used for. What their agents or workers are all about is take the money and refund back with the stated interest. I have observed many victims who take this suffering in disguise loans from LAAPO, GURUMI, SEAP or others. They use the money for consumption (Food, drinks, clothing materials, jewellery) and sustaining their lives.
Purposely, a loan is being given out to any individual or entity for business purposes. No bank will ever give you loans if you tell the bank that you want to use it for your own consumption. The reverse is the case when talking about these financial institutions. Many women who take the loans have no business or engage in petty trading. I think the institutions should take a step to at least verify if truly these businesses exist. Let’s assume the business can’t be verified as a result of the tight schedule of the officials but at least the guarantor used as the collateral should be a person who can pay if the collector of the loans fails to pay his or her weekly contribution.
In addition, the granting of loans as a relief to these people is not even my problem. The only problem I have with these institutions is the treatment of collateral entity used by the collector of the loan. We all know the so called banks in this country cannot give out a loan to any individual without a collateral. Although, except you are a loyal customer to one of the managers in such bank. To my surprise, these so called LAPO, GURUMI, SEAP and PEACOM don’t care about any collateral. Their case is to take guarantor to stand for any victim of their loans collector. Whoever fails to make his or her repayment of loans in any financial institution especially banks in Nigeria. Therefore the person will forfeit his properties used as collateral before taking the loans.
The reverse is the case with these sufferings in disguise institutions. As a human being, I don’t think there is anything bitter than be disgraced or defame in public places. When an individual who takes these loans from these suffering in disguise institutions fails to make his or her repayment on weekly basis, then, his guarantor who stands for the collector then is in the realm of being disgraced in public places or markets.
My first experience of such maltreatment is when a woman was disgraced in a public and populated market. I was astonished, what could this beautiful mother have stolen to deem this disgrace or torment. The guarantor, who didn’t even spend a dime from the money, will now be the one to suffer for the public disgrace.
The disgrace is enough but also being coupled with handcuff of such victim and jingling bell on her. Also, I asked myself for what? I was astonished seeing such thing. I later heard from a man beside me saying she stood as guarantor for someone. This kind of humiliation cannot be said to be deemed fit for the collector of the loans himself/herself let alone the guarantor who didn’t enjoy a single dime from the money but just only accepted to stand as the guarantor possibly because of friendship or relationship.
Why displaying these women in the public places or markets in as much as the punishment does not stop there.
Furthermore, the public disgrace or humiliation is not even seemed to be a satisfactory punishment for these institutions. These callous institutions go further with their length of punishment to lock whoever fails to pay his or her weekly basis contribution as part of the repayment of loans into a toilet. Locking a human being especially women in a toilet for failing to pay a weekly contribution?
For what I am really wondering. Where are the fighters for freedom? Where are the women activists? If locking them into a toilet would be replaced for that particular week such individual failed to pay then that will not be a problem. It means you fail to pay for this week then you are locked in the toilet. Therefore it serve as repayment of the loans. Moreso, these women will still be forced to pay despite the fact that they have suffered both the public disgrace and odour of the toilet.
Moreover, the system or procedure is a complicated system for these average or illiterate women market. The women are also tricked to be saving simultaneously in repayment of the loans given to them. The savings account opened for these women can neither be accessed nor withdrawn until the institution wishes to give out to them. These institutions called it a savings account, then it should be accessed anytime the owner needs it. It should be used when an individual fails to pay his weekly contribution. However, these institutions have a complicated procedure in withdrawing your personal money in that savings account.
No doubt that these financial institutions are privately owned which will go at any length to make a profit. I am neither criticizing nor blaming these institutions for the loans given to the people. My concern is the procedures, terms and conditions of the loans. Our mothers whom also rushed only for the money are also to be blamed. No doubt, these financial institutions would take the larger share of the blame because the majority of these women market or collectors are illiterate.
If the procedures, terms and conditions should be flexible enough. Then, I think it will be preferable and also serve as a relief. If a financial support in form of loans is given to you to solve problems in which after collecting the loans your problems become bigger.Not even bigger, a larger and wider then what the essence of such ugly loans.
I urge the financial institutions’ managers or directors to review the terms and conditions of the loans. The terms should be more flexible for these women or collectors. In addition, the form of punishment is more severe sincerely speaking. I think the directors should find other means rather than disgracing our mothers in the public places, market or locking them in the toilet for hours.
This financial support for these women should be a blessing, not a curse. Sincerely speaking it is very unfortunate many women have been in exile. Many have left their homes, children and family members not because of anything than these LAAPO, GURUMI, SEAP, PEACOM etc palaver. These financial institutions with a fake aim of making the life of Nigerians better can best be described as a curse not a blessing at all.
Many women even men who have taken these loans are now even worse or unstable. They are in worry, huge problems, crisis, huge debt, unsatisfactory living and other worse situations than before collecting the loans. Why not even remain at the status quo since it is better off. Well, I don’t blame these women or men who are eager to take these loans. The government of this country has made many Nigerians take unsystematic risks which nobody will compensate you for taking it.
Finally, to the directors and managers of the LAAPO, SEAP, PEACOM, GURUMI etc kindly make the terms and conditions more comprehensive and flexible. I know the aim of your institution is the total maximization of profit. I think it is hightime our government devised measures to tackle our fallen economy. The citizens of this noble nation are suffering and facing hard times in which many cannot even take two meals per day to sustain and survive in this country. We were blessed with resources but mismanagement has caused us the ugly situation we found ourselves today.
Many millionaire or billionaire and other leaders live an extravagant life. They don’t even care about family members, friends, relatives or neighbour. Who cares in as much as they are living what they called a perfect life. The act of wickedness has neither has a positive impact nor contributing any positive on Nigeria Economy or people surrounding you. There is happiness in sharing whatsoever you have with other people. Though, nobody is an island of knowledge. You might not know that kindly read this post I titled “5 things that can make unlimited happiness to surround you”. This post will make you understand the fact you sharing your money, resources or materials don’t reduce status or your wealth.
A man who plants a tree does it not for himself but for the coming generation. Our leaders and elders have forgotten this, taking and sharing the resources owned by all Nigerians. What is certain are that posterity will judge each and every one of us. We are all history books which will become reading textbooks for the coming generation; I asked you today what you want the coming generation to read about you in your history book. Think twice today, it is never too late to repent and change to better. Help people around you; assist your family, relatives, neighbours and friends, changes start with you being selfless. If everything has been going smoothly then these sufferings in disguise financial institutions will never use the loophole of the fallen economy. They have used it to suffer and add bound hardship to the citizens of this country.
There are blessings and happiness in sharing things with other people. I pray that Almighty God takes perfect control of this blessed Country and provide for our needs. Lastly, never rely on any financial institution to solve your problems. I will advise you as my brother and sister to stick with your Creator. With this, the suffering in disguise financial institutions like LAPO, SEAP, GURUMI, PEACOM, BETTER LIFE, BETTERBETTER etc will never intimidate or oppress you. Be prayerful, worship your God I believe only Almighty God can provide for your needs and solve all your problems.