The Federal Government of Nigeria has commenced disbursement of interest-free loans to the latest accredited beneficiaries of MarketMoni – the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) targeting market women and traders, artisans, youths and farmers. MarketMoni is one of four schemes under the Social Intervention Programme of the Federal Government, and is being executed by the Bank of Industry (BOI).
As part of the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to stimulate the Nigerian economy and deepen financial inclusion for the under-banked and unbanked, over 24,000 Nigerians – including market women and traders, artisans, and youth – have so far benefited from the special intervention programme since its roll-out in December, 2016.
The Office of the Vice-President revealed that the Federal Government has commenced disbursements in thirteen (13) states and the Federal Capital Territory, through the Bank of Industry (BOI), and will be expanding across all states over the next two months. The areas of current disbursement include Abuja, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and Rivers.
At an Abuja stakeholder discussion on the scheme, BOI Acting Managing Director, Waheed Olagunju, reiterated that MarketMoni is a demonstration of the government’s resolve to accelerate development of Nigeria’s micro-enterprises. He urged beneficiaries to be judicious in the use of the funds and to pay back, as it enables the programme to remain sustainable and expand its reach to millions of Nigerians and stimulate economic activity at the base of the pyramid.
“This Federal Government programme aligns with BOI’s goal of inclusive growth and expanding economic opportunity. Access to affordable funds is a primary challenge of micro, small and medium enterprises. MarketMoni is a direct response to this challenge – granting loans at unprecedented rates that cannot be accessed anywhere else. The government identifies with Nigerians working hard to keep their businesses afloat, and will continue to extend its assistance through initiatives of this nature,” Olagunju said.
MarketMoni seeks to expand access to credit for 1.6 million micro-enterprises annually, with over 50% targeted at women-owned enterprises. Further describing the programme, BOI’s Executive Director, Micro-enterprises, Toyin Adeniji said:
“Not only does access to affordable finance enable people grow their economic opportunity; it also breaks poverty barriers and pushes the frontiers of inclusive growth and financial advancement. The target ₦140-billion programme seeks to deliver this. We are working round the clock to scale the programme, and we are happy with the progress we have made so far.”
The ‘no-interest’ micro-credit loan scheme targets beneficiaries through their accredited market associations and cooperatives. Beneficiaries are required to have Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs), and can receive loans between N10,000 to N100,000 repayable over 6 months with a one-time 5% administrative fee to contribute to delivery costs.
Although over 24,000 people have benefited from the loans, MarketMoni has received entries from market associations worth over one million potential beneficiaries across the country, seeking to be vetted and accredited for the programme and expecting to benefit this year. A combined number of 8,436 market associations and cooperatives nationwide have registered for this scheme through the MarketMoni web portal (www.boi.ng/market) and paper application forms.