The Bank of Industry (BoI) under the Federal Government of Nigeria‘s Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP) has signed an agreement with the OXFAM Nigeria to disburse N200m to OXFAM’s Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLA) in Nassarawa, Benue and Plateau states.
The Deputy Country Director Oxfam Nigeria Mr. Constant Tchona said today in Abuja that the development was aimed at strengthening the livelihoods capacity and resilience of poor households in rural communities.“The partnership was borne out of the need to target the most marginalized and hard to reach in the rural communities in line with the objectives of the Federal Government Social Intervention policy.“The funds tagged “GEEP MarketMoni” is the first batch of the loans meant to expand the activities of about 500 farmer groups in some communities in the three states.
BoI is executing the Federal Government of Nigeria’s microcredit initiative, the GEEP,” Tchona said.Accrding to him OXFAM implementing partners, Young Men Christian Association (YMCA), Nigerian Association of Women in Agriculture (NAWIA), and Cocin Community Development Program (CCDP) will be responsible for monitoring and supporting the beneficiaries to effectively utilize the funds in Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau states respectively.Apart from the primary goal of increasing access to credit to the ‘unbanked’ at the bottom of the pyramid, the scheme has significantly improved community cohesion and active citizenship in communities where the project is being implemented while building the resilience of rural farmers towards saving for unforeseen circumstances.
Also the Executive Director of the Microenterprise Directorate in BOI Mrs. Toyin Adeniji said “This is part of the Federal Government ’s mandate to BoI to achieve, among others, financial inclusion and access to credit for 1.6 million beneficiaries across target segments – market women and traders, artisans, enterprising youths, agricultural workers, agro-allied processors and other MSME categories in furtherance of the attainment of poverty eradication, employment generation, growth and development of Micro Enterprises.”Tchona added that the disbursement of the funds is a good development for Oxfam as it demonstrates the facts that the government is responding to the needs of the rural farmers who produce what the citizens eat but have been lacking financial support for improvement.
Source: DAILY TRUST