The Abma Finacial Investment Center – AFIC is facing a lot of serious questions from over 20,000 members over the shortfall in its financial standings after members withdrawal privileges were limited to Vt10,000 per withdrawal for all AFIC branches through Vanuatu last week.
Mr. Banabas Tabi from AFIC has come out on Media saying “there is a shortfall in members funds as most of the money in AFIC has been invested” to the members.
The Department of Cooperative has tasked AFIC to elect a board of directors by November 2017 but as of December 2017, AFIC is yet to elect a board of directors to oversee AFIC operations and also set guidelines for AFIC financial transactions which is a must after the current experience which has seen AFIC members flock to AFIC centers to withdraw all their savings.
Mr. Tabi has assured AFIC members that all is well and AFIC should be back to normal within a month.
It is understood that Mr. Tabi himself is a major borrower from AFIC to finance various projects he has undertaken but it is not clear whether the projects have been successful as the current works at the Smet Area have ceased, and the AFIC Open market in Pentecost has also been canceled.
Saling Shipping which was financed by AFIC is currently still in operation and looks to be the lifeline to some of the projects by Mr. Tabi.
It is understood, AFIC accounts at various banks have been closed and the Reserve Bank has also noted that AFIC activities cannot be controlled or closely monitored and the same is said by the Cooperative Department who are now looking to deregister AFIC as a Cooperative.
AFIC centers around the country were flocked this morning as members turned up to withdraw their money, however, Mr. Tabi is assuring all members this morning in Port Vila that things will turn around.
Mr. Tabi has called all post on social media as fake news even though members were generally questioning the reasons behind their funds not being released.
The Cooperative Department, however, is seriously considering deregistering AFIC if the institution continues to operate without an elected board of directors.
The Department of Cooperative have also tried to meet with Banabas Tabi but with his busy schedules, no meetings have ever taken place.
AFIC members are losing confidence in their savings being at AFIC and as Government officials try to provide AFIC support, it is not clear whether Mr. tabi welcomes their support as he is always busy and cannot make time for the Vanuatu Government.
Comments from members of Parliament and senior Government officials all point in one direction and that is for AFIC to appoint a new board of directors who will officiate the recruitment of a new management and set proper guides for AFIC funds and how members can access and use these funds.