By Yinka Kolawole
The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) MarketMoni scheme, one of the social intervention programmes (SIP) of the federal government has helped micro businesses to tackle the challenges of providing collateral in accessing credit facilities from banks.
Special Assistant to the Vice President on MSME, Tola Johnson, stated this at the launching of Kano State edition of the Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSME) Clinic.
He 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,” he stated.
Also speaking at the occasion, Toyin Adeniji, Executive Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), said about 350,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have benefitted from the interest-free loan programme.
Adeniji stated: “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.”
The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) MarketMoni scheme provides interest-free loans between N10,000 and N100,000 to microenterprises. 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.