There are about 16 women’s groups in Bauchi State, striving to bridge the gap in financial exclusion [for women] by using their weekly contributions to enhance their businesses — some of which are on the verge of bankruptcy.
Three out of the 16 groups — mapped under Trium Cluster, a movement initiated by Care International and operating under the Bauchi State Network of Civil Society Organizations (BASNEC) — converged in Tirwun Village of the Bauchi Local Government Area on Wednesday to share about N2 million from their weekly contributions. BASNEC seeks to inculcate in women, the saving culture and entrepreneurial skills, WikkiTimes learned.
Bilkisu Zubairu, the Chairperson of Trium Cluster, during the sharing session, said the groups have engaged in contributions and entrepreneurial skills for the past nine months, specifically to augment their businesses and to enhance their family economic system.
Each group consists of at least “30 members who contribute between N50 and N200 weekly,” according to Bilkisu. “The money raised is given as loans to members to improve their businesses.”
While she did not explain how members would refund the loans, Balkisu sought support from the Bauchi State Government including politicians. The intervention, according to her would help women to become self-reliant.
A report by the Gender Centre of Excellence, a subunit of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisor (RPA), a not-for-profit organisation that manages and advises on charitable giving, has shown that 98% of Nigerian women are marginalised from formal credits markets. And this results from low education, limited decision-making power, and being in a rural area.
The report titled ‘Understanding Nigerian Women’s Access to Credit and Loans: Gender-Disaggregated Data Analysis of the Nigerian Lending Market’, however, recommends that “bundling services with existing platforms like mobile banking and savings groups can address onboarding challenges.”
In his remarks, Chairman, Trium Market Association, Salisu Ibrahim, during the sharing session, commended the women for their doggedness to improve their living conditions. He pledged to expose the products they have been producing into the markets.