The federal government has commenced disbursement of interest-free loans to the latest accredited beneficiaries of Market Moni, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) targeting market women, traders, artisans, youth 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.
As part of the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to stimulate economic activities 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, in a statement revealed that the federal government has commenced the disbursements in 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.
BOI acting Managing Director, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, recently reiterated that MarketMoni was a demonstration of the government’s resolve to accelerate development of Nigeria’s microenterprises.
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.
According to Olagunju, “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.”
MarketMoni seeks to expand access to credit for 1.6 million microenterprises annually, with over 50 per cent targeted at women-owned enterprises.