African Bankers have named the Government’s Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, a key element of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes, as Africa’s most impactful financial inclusion scheme.
A statement from the Office of the Vice President said that the Bank of Industry, BOI, which implements GEEP, was given the award at the African Bankers’ Awards ceremony which held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on June 11th, 2019, for its role in implementing GEEP.
The GEEP includes the TraderMoni, the MarketMoni and the FarmerMoni mirco-credit schemes.
The African Banker Awards, held annually on the fringes of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank, celebrates excellence in banking and finance on the African continent.
The statement reads: “Since its commencement in 2016, millions of Nigerians have benefited from GEEP, while the micro-credit schemes have empowered over 2 million micro-enterprises with collateral-free, interest-free loans to grow their businesses.
“The vast majority of these micro-enterprises are petty traders, small-scale merchants, enterprising youth, and agricultural workers in over 1,600 clusters and markets across the 36 states, and the Federal Capital Territory.
“MarketMoni is a six-month interest-free, collateral-free loan starting from N50,000 to N100,000 for small businesses under the auspices of their cooperative societies or associations. Over 350,000 traders have benefitted from MarketMoni.
“There is also the FarmerMoni loans, which start at N250,000 and are tailored to suit the peculiarities of the different planting seasons and farming requirements. About 5,000 farmers have benefited till date.”
According to the statement, “over 1.7 million petty traders are beneficiaries of TraderMoni scheme, designed to assist petty traders and artisans nationwide to expand their trade through the provision of collateral and interest-free loans starting from N10,000.
“The loans are repayable over a period of six months, after which the traders get an increased loan of N15,000.
“They get additional sums up to a N100,000 along the way as they repay the loans. TraderMoni is designed to meet the needs of the larger population of petty traders at the bottom of the pyramid who do not meet the stringent criteria of credit facilities required for the bigger MarketMoni loans.”
It also stated that over 1.5 million of the two million GEEP beneficiaries are first-time beneficiaries of credit from a formal financial lender, while over half of GEEP’s 2 million beneficiaries are first-time operators of bank accounts or mobile wallets.
“Also, working with over 4,000 agents and 15,000 cooperatives in more than 1,600 markets across the 36 states and the FCT, the programme has seen the detailed enumeration of over 7 million MSMEs and their owners.
“Beneficiaries receive GEEP loans by opening a bank account or operating a mobile wallet. They can only repay via the bank or vouchers, as well as access the next loan on their mobile phones.
“With its use of technology to provide micro-credit loans and financial services, GEEP has been able to reach the grassroots, particularly to low-income segments of society, which has led to an increase in financial inclusion, development and growth.
“With the availability of biometrics and using BVN as digital collateral, mobile data capture, mobile wallets, and a 4,000-strong agent network, GEEP is able to properly target, document, profile, and deliver credit to over 2 million people.
“Through GEEP schemes, the Buhari administration continues to provide access to finance, and sustainable financial inclusion, and the programme aims to reach 10 million people by 2023.
“GEEP is designed to deliver last mile credit delivery using an aggregation model that works with market cooperatives as the acquiring structure, and agent networks with technological tools.
“This group of GEEP agents is equipped with proprietary application that enables full registration and capture of data, such as the biodata, information on the market, nature of trader, pictures of trader and trade point, GPS coordinate of the trade point, association membership, and 43 other data points that enable credit assessment.
“This group of agents go into the markets to meet on-board beneficiaries daily; while data on every captured beneficiary is delivered to the Bank of Industry real time to enable verification, appraisals and credit assessment. This is done by a call centre staffed with over 120 agents and other officials.
“Qualified applicants then get disbursements into their bank accounts or mobile wallets generated for them from the registration data. Every loan disbursed is booked automatically on a core banking system that is plugged to all commercial banks in the country.
“This enables beneficiaries to walk into any bank in the country and make repayments periodically over a 6-month period or to purchase scratch card vouchers locally and pay. Upon completion of loan repayments, a subsequent loan offer is made via phone to the beneficiaries.
“The beneficiaries BVN is tied to all their financial instruments, and it serves as a collateral for the loan.”
According to the statement, the BOI’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, received the award at the event alongside other senior government officials.