Toyin Adeniji, Bank of Industry (BoI) executive director, says 350,000 small and medium enterprises have benefitted the federal government’s interest-free loan programme.
Adeniji made this known on Thursday while speaking at the Kano state edition of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) Clinic.
The federal government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) MarketMoni scheme is a federal government social intervention programme (SIP) that provides interest-free loans between N10,000 and N100,000 to microenterprises.
The scheme is executed by BoI, a parastatal of the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment, is available to traders, market women, artisans, and farmers nationwide.
“GEEP MarketMoni has given people who otherwise have no access to finance, money to finance their businesses. These micro-enterprises are expanding their businesses, making more profit and employing more people.”
“Most of our beneficiaries are women, some of whom are widows and single mothers. We are improving the quality of their lives, their children’s lives, their health and even education. We are seeing very quantifiable impacts. No government has ever done this.”
Tola Johnson, special assistant to the vice president on MSME, said “The best thing that has happened to micro businesses in Nigeria is the GEEP MarketMoni programme. It dealt with their collateral challenge because all they need is their data, a bank account and bank verification number (BVN).
According to Johnson, there are 37 million small businesses in Nigeria.
“This informed the federal government’s attention to this space. Microenterprises are responsible for almost 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 80 percent of the workforce.”
To benefit from the scheme, applicants have to apply through their registered market associations and cooperatives, have a bank verification number(BVN), and a mobile phone.
The loans are expected to be repaid within a 6 months period without interest.