UN Commends FG’s GEEP for Boosting Financial Inclusion

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Raheem Akingbolu
Barely three years after the federal government introduced the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), a microcredit scheme, the initiative has earned recognition for driving financial inclusion in the country.

GEEP, a microcredit initiative of the federal government which commenced in 2016, includes MarketMoni, FarmerMoni, and the TraderMoni. It has impacted over two million Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid accessing credit in three years and being brought into financial services of bank account and mobile wallets, there is consensus on the scale of impact the initiative wields. GEEP has been described as the largest public microcredit scheme in the world and 54.2 per cent of its beneficiaries are women.

At the last session of 62nd United Nations Commission in New York, a statement revealed that GEEP was commended for pushing the envelope in technological innovations for successful last-mile delivery of credit at massive scale.

This was in recognition of the programme’s roles in building a completely digitised loan operation, positioning of Bank Verification (BVN) as digital collateral to aid financial inclusion, use of facial recognition for de-deduplication, GPS-based mapping and profile of candidates to markets, and exhaustive data capture to truly formalise the informal sector.

In a related development, the programme’s Chief Operating Officer, Uzoma Nwagba, was said to have emerged among 22 other emerging African leaders picked across the continent, as a recipient of 2019 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship.

The Desmond Tutu Fellowship is set up by AFLI and Oxford to identify and cultivate young African leaders whose work has achieved “far reaching impact on the continent.”
“Selection into the lifelong Fellowship is an attestation of Uzoma’s role in delivering one of the world’s most impactful tech-based SME intervention programs, and the world’s largest public microcredit scheme,” it added.

According to the statement, Nwagba, prior to GEEP, worked as an Analyst at Goldman Sachs, Product Manager at Microsoft, and Senior Associate at African Capital Alliance. The statement described him as an individual who is passionate about running public institutions like ethical businesses.