- Sterling Bank, BoI Collaborate on N140bn GEEP Programme
Sterling Bank Plc has collaborated with the Bank of Industry for the pilot phase of the N140bn financial inclusion programme tagged ‘Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme’.
The programme, targeted at over 16 million beneficiaries, will foster financial inclusion and economic activity at the micro level.
According to a statement by the lender, the project will give succour to micro business owners.
Under the pilot phase, Sterling Bank will disburse loans ranging from N10,000 to N100,000 per beneficiary covering up to 15,000 beneficiaries. Target beneficiaries include market sellers/traders, artisans, enterprising youths and farmers.
The bank confirmed in a statement on Sunday that the disbursement of the N140bn had commenced, adding that the introduction of the mobile agent banking scheme using the BankOne solution provided by Appzone would facilitate easy disbursement of the fund to the beneficiaries.
“We will also be leveraging on our agent network outreach, robust technology solution and the scalability of its operational scope,” the bank added.
Agent banking is a process of providing limited scale banking and financial services to the under-served population through engaged agents under a valid agency agreement, rather than a teller/cashier.
It is the owner of an outlet who conducts banking transactions on behalf of a bank.
The statement further read in part, “The fund is being provided by the BoI and a collection account has been opened for BoI with the bank. BoI, through selected aggregators, enumerates beneficiaries from pre-registered market or trade associations in selected locations across the nation based on set qualifying criteria.
“The list of successful beneficiaries is sent to the bank and our agents will open accounts for them via our mobile agent banking application. A loan request is logged on the credit assessment system and successful requests are submitted to BoI for approval for disbursement.
“BoI will, therefore, advise with the list of beneficiaries approved to receive the loans based on set criteria and bear all financial liability associated with the loans issued under this scheme.”