BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The ability of any organization to execute its strategy and achieve its goals depends on how it can attract, organize, develop and manage its human resources effectively. Any organization that aspires to a positive change or improved quality service delivery would as a matter of necessity strive to engage quality human resources. Under a competitive environment, the ability of a firm to generate sufficient profit and the competence in planning hinge very much on the worth of human resources particularly when adequate resources are present to satisfy the requirement of demand forecast. This might have been the major reason why Giwa (1990:32) asserts that of all the resources an organization or nation requires, human resources is the most important.
The role of quality human resources in achieving organizational goals and objectives cannot be over-emphasized. It is the human capital that dictates the quality of service and the overall performance of such organization. It is the human resources (capital) that organizes and manages all other resources of the organization. It determines the appropriate quantity, quality and mix of other resources. Hence, any organization that fails to give the require attention to its human capital is doomed to fail. In order words, the ability of any organization to face the challenges of the current global competition and technological changes calls for resourceful human capital.
The micro-finance firms like any other sector have their goals and objectives to pursue. They equally have their strategies to execute in order to achieve these goals. However, like other organizations, this task cannot be carried out effectively in the absence of a virile, formidable and quality human capital. Microfinance banks like any other organization face daunting challenges in the market place. Of particular reference is the stiff competition, which they have to contend with especially among the more established and experienced commercial banks. They need not only quality human capital; the manpower must be in the right mix and quantity to complete favourably in the business environment.
The practice of micro finance in Nigeria is culturally rooted and dates back to several centuries. The traditional microfinance institutions provide access to credit for the rural and urban low income earners. They are mainly the informal Self Help Groups (SHGs) or Rotating Saving and Credit Association (ROSCA) types. Other providers of microfinance services include saving collectors and co-operative societies. These informal financial institutions generally have limited outreach due primarily to paucity of loanable funds.
In order to enhance the flow of financial services to Nigeria’s rural areas, government has in the past initiated a series of publicly – financed micro/rural credit programmes and polices targeted at the poor. Notable among such programmes were the Rural Banking Programmes, sectorial allocation of credit concessionary interest rate and the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS).
Other institutional arrangements were the establishment of Nigerian Agricultural and Co-operative Bank (NACB), the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the Peoples Bank of Nigeria (PBN), the Community Banks (CB) now Microfinance Bank, and the Family Advancement Programme (FEAP). It also created the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) with the mandate of providing financial services to alleviate poverty.
The National Association of Microfinance Banks NAMFB, (2006) defines microfinance Banks as a “self-sustaining financial institution owned and manage by community or group of communities, individual or group of individual, community development association, private or corporate entities and foreign investors for the purpose of providing credit, deposit, banking and other financial services to its members largely on the basis of their self recognition and credit worthiness”.
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