Tuesday, February 7, 2006

“OGA, I?ve heard of micro- credit,? said this sugar-cane seller in Hausa, on a recent NTA Channel 10 programme on MICRO-CREDIT and Poverty Alleviation, ?but I don?t really know anything about it. Now, this sugar cane that I sell; I buy a bundle of it at between N550.00, and N600.00 from the wholesale seller on credit. Then I cut it up and begin to sell. After selling half of the lot, I go pay something out of what I owe, and I pay the rest when I?ve sold the entire bundle. This way, the wholesaler is encouraged to continue selling to me on credit. If I know where to go get a loan for this business, I will do so.?

?I?m an artist,? said another man, ?and this is my work displayed around me. I know that I?m capable of producing better work and expanding my business if I have the capital. Yes, I?ve heard of micro-credit, but no-one has actually briefed me on how to go about obtaining loan for my business. In any case, I don?t have anything that I can use as collateral, so, maybe I wouldn?t qualify for a loan.?

Earlier in the programme, a lawyer who?s a graduate of the London School of Economics and of the Harvard, had spoken eloquently on how the micro-credit programme can be successfully used to alleviate poverty in the country. He said that the local and state governments can use one per cent of their monthly allocation from the Federal Government for the purpose. The money would be given to a finance house set up for the purpose to disburse to petty traders, small scale industrialists, etc. right down to the grassroots. The NTA anchorman wondered if one per cent of a state or local government monthly allocation would be sufficient to give out as loans which would make any meaningful impact on the poverty alleviation of the people.

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Source: Vangaurd Online (link opens in a new window)