The rollout of disbursements of N140 billion MarketMoni, a microcredit scheme providing interest-free loans to market women, artisans, enterprising youth and farmers, one of the social intervention programmes of the Federal Government has been extended to Plateau, Jigawa and Kebbi States.
MarketMoni, also known as the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP) executed by the Bank of Industry (BOI), seeks to bridge the long-standing financing gap for Nigerian micro-businesses at the base of the pyramid. It targets beneficiaries through their accredited market associations and cooperatives.
Beneficiaries are required to have Biometric Verification Numbers (BVNs), and receive loans between N10,000 to N100,000 repayable over 6 months with a one-time five per cent administrative fee.
At a disbursement event held in Jos recently, the Plateau State focal person for the federal government’s social intervention programmes, Dr. Sumaye Hamza, commended the efforts of the federal government for bringing the programme to Plateau.
“We are happy. You can also see the people are very happy. We really commend the federal government for keeping to its promise. We look forward to thousands more beneficiaries from Plateau State,” Hamza said.
Meanwhile, this wave of MarketMoni disbursements comes through a partnership between the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Development Exchange Centre (DEC), a rural-focused microfinance institution with operations in 18 states of northern Nigeria. The pilot phase of this alliance is to grant loans to over 10,000 Nigerians at the base of the pyramid, while ushering them into the formal financial system through the provision of BVNs and bank accounts.
Given the rural focus of this wave of disbursements, BOI has provided significant support to DEC in integrating its members into the formal financial system. BOI, working with the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), will be providing Biometric Verification Numbers (BVNs) on-site to these MarkeMoni beneficiaries who would otherwise commute for several hours by road to access banks.
While MarketMoni continues to expand beneficiaries in Plateau, Jigawa, and Kebbi States, a new batch of states – Gombe, Zamfara and Borno – is set come on stream next week on the DEC partnership.