Seven thousand beneficiaries across 130 associations have received N450 million micro credit from the Bank of Industry (BOI) under the Nigerian Government’s Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in Ogun State.
“We are issuing credit alerts and loan certificates to members of cooperatives who have successfully met the eligibility criteria for the Marketmoni loans,” said Olukayode Pitan, managing director of BoI, during BoI’s presentation of loan certificates to beneficiaries under the GEEP initiative in Ogun State.
Represented by Toyin Adeniji, executive director, micro enterprise, Pitan said the loans have tenor of six months, a grace period of 2 weeks, weekly payment and a 5 per cent administrative fee payable in arrears.
“GEEP is being executed by the BOI with a mandate to reach 1.6 million Nigerians in all 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Nigeria,” he said.
He said over 80 per cent of micro enterprises lack access to affordable credit which, she said, is a major barrier to business growth, adding that even when loans are available, they come at a very high cost to the borrower.
“Based on this premise, the federal government set up a social intervention programme to provide access to affordable micro credit to existing micro businesses in Nigeria. The GEEP provides non-interest rates loans up to N100,000 and N50,000 to first timers to qualified in 4 target segments which include market women, traders, artisans and farmers,” he said. Ibikunle Amosun, Governor, Ogun State, said Micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are a major catalyst for economic growth and development of big industries in itself but stressed that MSMEs in the country have not been able to reach their potentials due to lack of access to funds.
“Majority of the industry players in this sub-sector could hardly meet up with the stringent conditions attached to accessing funds from our conventional commercial banks. This is why the federal government has to come up with different interventions such as BOI and other specialised funding institutions,” he said, during the event tagged, ‘ Marketmoni alert train don land’.
He said GEEP is a welcome development in the state, adding that it would help to support and accelerate micro business activities and would impact positively on the economic activities of the nation’s informal sectors which are the bedrock of an economy.
He said the beauty of the ‘Marketmoni’ programme is that it relieves the burden on the beneficiaries and also enables entrepreneurs to focus their energies on business growth.
He urged beneficiaries of the loan to be judicious in the use of the facility and also endeavour to pay back as it enables the programmes to remain sustainable and stimulate the economic activities at the base of the pyramid.
“Marketmoni is targeted to several millions of Nigerians, therefore only our positive attitude will make it work. Let us take the advantage of this affordable finance to grow our business, to break poverty barriers and push the frontiers of inclusive growth and financial advancement,” he said.
Source: Business Day