Thursday, September 28th, 2017 witnessed the celebration of Grooming Centre and Fortis Microfinance Bank as the pioneer CPP-certified microfinance service providers in Nigeria. In February 2016, Grooming Centre was confirmed the first microfinance institution in Nigeria and Africa to be certified as fully Client Protection Principles [CPP] compliant. Fortis Microfinance Bank was confirmed CPP compliant in March 2016. The ceremony, themed Keeping Clients First in Financial Inclusion, was held at The George Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.

The ceremony was hosted by the Smart Campaign represented by Isabelle Barrès, Vice President Centre for Financial Inclusion [CFI] and Director of the Smart Campaign, and Boubacar Diallo, Senior Africa Advisor. Highlights of the event included panel discussions on the State of Consumer Protection in Financial Inclusion, presentations on the State of Financial Consumer Protection Regulation and Practice, discussions on experiences about the Smart Campaign Client Protection Certification led by Dr. Godwin Nwabunka CEO, Grooming Centre and Tiko Okoye CEO, Fortis MFB and the grand finale – the Certification Award Ceremony.

Notable speakers during the discussions included Augustine Nwoke, CEO HASAL MFB and President, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Godbless Safugha, Executive Secretary, Association of Non-Bank Microfinance Institutions of Nigeria (ANMFIN), Dr. Olayinka David-West, Governing Council Member of the FinTech Association of Nigeria (FTAN) and Dr. Professor Felicia Monye, President, Consumer Awareness Organization (CAO). The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was represented by the Head of Consumer Protection Department, Umma Dutse.

In her closing remarks, Camille Haubert of MicroRate, a foremost international rating agency, congratulated Grooming Centre and Fortis MFB for achieving the coveted recognition and praised both institutions for their dedication and drive for distinction in client protection. She placed particular emphasis on “the remarkable commitment and transparency displayed by Grooming Centre throughout the pre-certification exercise”, citing the Centre as a client protection model for other institutions to emulate.

Watch our journey to certification here courtesy of Smart Campaign

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