THE House of Representatives has asked the executive arm of government to stay further action on the planned closure of the National Economic Reconstruction Fund, NERFUND, opting to investigate alleged mismanagement of the agency. House of Representatives To this end, the House resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the activities of NERFUND and its current status. The Federal Government had reasoned that activities of the fund were becoming counter-productive and, consequently, planned to close it. But in a resolution, which emanated on the heels of a motion sponsored by Bode Ayorinde, Ondo State, at yesterday’s plenary, the House beckoned on the Federal Government to stay action on the matter, pending when investigations would be concluded. Presenting the motion, Ayorinde, however, noted that the 28 years old organisation had been enmeshed in internal crisis. He said: “The House notes that the National Economic Reconstruction Fund, NERFUND, was established in 1989 to act as a catalyst towards the stimulation of rapid rise in real production enterprises in the country with a seed capital of N300 million. “It also notes that the main objective of the fund was to fill the gap existing in the provision of medium to long-term financing to small and medium-scale industrial enterprises, SMEs. “The House is aware that about 2,849 projects in the Small and Medium Enterprises sector were financed with loans from NERFUND for the total value of N9.5 billion as at June 10, 2017. “The House is also concerned that the management of NERFUND had, in the past year, been embroiled in an unending feud with its staff as was evident in June 2016 when the staff took to the streets, protesting an alleged mismanagement of funds.’’ The committee has six weeks within which to report back to the House for further legislative action.

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