| NICOP supported the implementation of the Self-financing community methodology of savings and loans groups as part of its efforts to improve financial inclusion and access to finance. This was piloted in Kano in 2019 with the establishment of 8 groups that promoted savings amongst members and generated micro loans of over NGN2,600,000 (as of December 2021) to meet personal needs and expand their businesses. Following successes recorded and acknowledged value preposition of the scheme to beneficiaries, the project scaled up SFC operations to 28 groups with an average membership size of 18 per group.
In other to strengthen the operations of the groups and to lay the foundation for sustainability, NICOP organised a one-day peer learning event to showcase successes, share experiences/lessons learned, and design strategies for institutionalizing the groups for greater economic and social impact.
The peer learning event was aimed at providing group members with the platform to exchange experiences (success stories, challenges, and lessons learned) on the operations of their Self-Financing Communities Savings and Loans Groups in Kano; present the groups with the opportunity to meet and discuss directly with the Kano State Ministry of Commerce and Industry (for registration/formalization) and other relevant organizations to establish linkages; explore access to finance opportunities including financial inclusion for the groups from Jaiz Bank; build and promote sustainability strategy for the groups and ensure they are well motivated to deepen their operations and enhance value for members.
The State Ministry of Commerce and industry attended the event and established the needed rapport for official recognition of the groups and explored formalisation opportunities. Our partner financial institution made a presentation and access to funding opportunities are being pursued rising on the back of the successful disbursement of over NGN80 million to NICOP beneficiaries in the leather and garment value chains in Kano State.
As a result, the groups are in a better position to formalize their operations and gain recognition from the state government for future support and participation in state intervention schemes. The groups have gained a better understanding of the methodology and are linked to Jaiz bank to explore access to finance opportunities and enhance financial inclusion.
“The Nigeria Competitiveness Project, NICOP, is implemented under the GIZ SEDIN programme and it is co-financed by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)”