Dr Magnus Kpakol, the National Coordinator of NAPEP, on Friday solicited the cooperation of the organised private sector in the effort by the Federal Government to eradicate poverty.
Kpakol made the appeal in Abuja at a meeting of the management of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) and the chief executives of financial institutions on the implementation of Meso-Credit Scheme, an initiative of NAPEP.
Stressing that micro credit had proved to be an effective tool for poverty alleviation, he said there was the need to evolve a more pragmatic measure.
According to him, the measure is geared toward bringing speedy recovery of communities in the country.
Kpakol noted that micro credit had not been able to transform communities to engines of growth through the establishment of small and viable enterprises.
“Micro credit has not been able to transform communities into engines of growth through the establishment of small and viable enterprises that would sustainably create jobs and raise the incomes of rural communities.”
The meeting, he said, was convened to brainstorm on how best the programme could be administered to achieve the desired goal and also find a way forward for the scheme.
The coordinator said the role of NAPEP was to ensure that the interest rate on loan was drastically reduced for Nigerians to access it easily, adding that Meso-Credit ranged from N500,000 to N50 million.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that though NAPEP is not a financial institution, it is mandated to coordinate and monitor poverty eradication activities, and from time to time come up with ideas and demonstration activities.
One of the participants at the meeting, Mr Olusoji Ogunkoya, the Chairman of Imodi Imosan Micro Finance Bank, advised NAPEP to deal directly with micro finance banks.
“Taking us through commercial banks is taking us through hurdles; they are our competitors. A lot of them have their micro finance banks also.
“If the objective of NAPEP is to reach the downtrodden, it is better they deal with micro finance banks than the commercial institutions which do not have offices in the rural areas,” he said. (NAN)