Cooperative societies operating under the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme (RUFIN), a programme of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), have accessed over N6 billion loans from formal banks, a coordinator has said.
Deputy National Coordinator (RUFIN) and a Monitoring and Evaluation Expert of the institution, Mrs Uneka Ufaruna, disclosed this at a Workshop for Cooperative Inspectors in Maraba, nasarawa State.
“When we started the people had no access to financial services; in 2011 we were able to facilitate over N47 million in the 12 states in terms of credit to the rural poor. “As at June this year, access of the poor to rural financing is to the tune of over N6 billion; that is from formal banks.
“Traditionally, the people also engage in savings and credit within their groups and those savings and credits they also lend to their members although the value is low. In all the states when we started, those savings and credit businesses were at its lowest ebb,” she explained.
She added that, “But we have been able to facilitate them and the savings and lending by now is to the tune of over N4 billion in all the 36 LGAs.” Meanwhile, RUFIN’s main objective is to build institutions and micro enterprises that enhance access of the rural poor to finance services for improved livelihood and empowerment.
The programme which runs for seven years spanning 2010 to 2016 is already in its fifth year.
It is operated with a $27.2 million fund in 36 local government areas in 12 states; two states each, of the six geopolitical zones of the country.
These states are Adamawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Edo, Imo, Katsina, Lagos , Nasarawa, Oyo and Zamfara.