The Microfinance Sector Regulatory Agency (ARSM) organized yesterday morning a workshop on the theme “analysis and evaluation of the internal control system of the DFS (decentralized financial systems) in Niger”. This workshop is part of the financial inclusion support project which was carried out from 2018 to 2021. Its objective is to discuss the results of the study on the analysis and evaluation of the internal control system of DFS in Niger, led by the world audit group (from Burkina Faso) and the firm ACD Expertise (from Niger) in 2021. It was the Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance who presided over the opening of the work in the presence of the Executive Secretary of the ARSM, Mr. Kabirou Alzouma and a representative of the French Development Agency (AFD).
In the introductory remarks delivered on this occasion, the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance underlined the capital importance of the theme of the workshop for the microfinance sector. Indeed explained Mr. Abdoul Laye Issoufou, the sector of decentralized financial systems encounters difficulties in ensuring its sustainable development. Thus, this workshop will contribute to the search for adequate solutions to these problems through the establishment of an effective and efficient internal control system.
Previously, the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance said that the authorities of the 7th Republic are resolutely committed to promoting the financial inclusion of the brave populations of Niger, particularly women, young people, rural people, SMEs and SMIs. According to Mr. Abdoul Laye Issoufou, sustainable access to diversified, innovative, quality and affordable financial products and services is a powerful lever for socio-economic development and reduction of poverty and inequalities. .
The Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance also announced that the operationalization of the Financial Inclusion Development Fund (FDIF) (set up in April 2021) is underway to meet the needs of inclusive finance actors, and in particular microfinance institutions. “He has already intervened on an ad hoc basis on behalf of several DFS and their association. Arrangements have been made so that it can contribute to financial inclusion, through four counters”, specified Mr. Abdoul Laye Issoufou. He also underlined that the State has signed a cooperation agreement with Luxembourg to support the microfinance sector in general, and two DFS networks.
As for the Executive Secretary of the ARSM, he provided more details, stressing that this workshop is the sixth and last carried out within the framework of the project. Mr. Kabirou Alzouma then noted that the study carried out by the two firms mentioned above highlighted not only the various internal control problems facing microfinance institutions in Niger, but also identified the main causes that DFSs do not have effective internal control systems. In view of all this, the two firms have made recommendations to ensure the effectiveness of internal control systems. Mr. Kabirou Alzouma stressed the importance of internal control systems in the operating mechanism of microfinance institutions. Indeed, these systems make it possible to control the various risks attached to the business but also to have a healthier credit portfolio. “It’s really at the heart of the business of microfinance institutions,” said the executive secretary of ARSM.
According to him, the purpose of this workshop is to engage the participants on the various recommendations made by the two firms for a better efficiency of internal controls.
Rahila Tagou (onep)