N140bn: Diamond Bank, BoI partners to empower grassroots

To enhance the Federal Government agenda on financial inclusion, Diamond Bank Plc and the Bank of Industry (BoI), has partnered to empower people at the lowest income level.

As part social intervention programmes of the Federal Government, the partnership, which is under the scheme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), would disburse N140 billion to micro-entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the press conference to announce the partnership on Tuesday, Uzoma Dozie, Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, explained that the synergy would translate to gender empowerment, job creation, business growth and promote government’s cashless policy system, which has been one of the vision of the bank.

He further explained that the bank had but on ground technology to facilitate the distribution of the soft loan, noting that “we are not just providing finance but using ICT to formalise the vibrant and informal sector of the economy.”

Giving details on the scheme, the Acting Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, represented by the Executive Director, Financial Inclusion and Micro Enterprise, BoI, Toyin Adeniji, said as the Federal Government introduced the scheme because of its passion for sustainable business growth and empowerment of micro-entrepreneurs, 1.6 million market traders, artisans, cooperatives, youth and farmers, among others would benefit through GEEP’s MarketMoni product.

While explaining that MarketMoni was a micro credit loan, easy to access between N10,000 to N100,000 and repayable in six months, he observed that the scheme was a part of the ways the Government would promote financial inclusion and access to credit.

“The idea is to make the loan easily accessible and affordable to the beneficiaries provided the beneficiary has a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and belong to a market association. Basically, it is a loan that is affordable with no interest rate, except for administrative fee, which is five per cent flat,” he said, while adding that it was a weekly repayment that makes it easy for the beneficiary.

He, however, lauded Diamond bank for creating a platform for the scheme, while noting that the bank had a blueprint even before being approached by BoI.

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