With K23 billion disbursed so far under the National Economic Empower Fund (Neef), the fund has indicated that shortage of loan officers has been one of the drawbacks.
Only K4 billion of the amount had been recovered as at October 8.
The fund also decried poor credit rating by most individuals seeking to access loans.
Neef acting Chief Executive Officer Humphrey Mdyetseni said there are 56 officers, but interviews have been conducted to recruit more to reach 166.
“We expect to have loan officers per constituency by the first week of November this year because all the recruitment processes were finalised, and now it is a question of informing the successful candidates to report to their duty stations,” Mdyetseni said.
He said this Thursday in Lilongwe when he appeared before Parliament’s Committee on and Public Sector Reforms.
Mdyetseni said if every constituency gets a loan officer, it will reduce the distance that people travel to about 10 kilometers radius.
He also told the committee that the other challenges have been that some groups have been reluctant to commit to loan processing requirements especially the youth, low literacy levels for rural and per-urban clients as well as inadequate space.
The Neef officers further asked the committee to help them by lobbying to the government for additional funds meant to be disbursed.
The committee advised Neef to go back to the government and get the additional funds as it was arranged.
It, however, advised the fund to report back to the committee, in case the government fails to fulfill the promise.
The government is expected to disburse K75 billion under the programme.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.