Women and micro credit financing in Nigeria: Implications for poverty alleviation and fight against vulnerability

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Publication Date: 
01 January 2008
Author: 
Anayo Nkamnebe
UN Millennium Development Goal: 
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Promote gender equality and empower women
Related group: 
Abstract: 

This paper examines the factors that hinder women in accessing micro credit in Nigeria, and the innovative measures they have initiated to counter these barriers and constraints. Based on interview conducted among women micro entrepreneurs, and evidence from key informant sources, the paper idenfifies factors summarised as internal constraints, socio-cultural constraints, and weak policy support as major contraints and barriers militating against women micro entrepreneurs from accessing micro credit. Suggestions for ameliorating these constraints were made, and policy implicantions drawn.

As a typical sub-Sahara Africa (SSA), Nigeria represents one of the many paradoxes of development in which case the nation is rich (being one of the largest exporters of crude oil in the world) but her people are poor. Consistently, the Human Development Report (HDR) rates Nigeria as failing in all the indices of development, this is equally consistent with the increasing doubt on the ability of Nigeria to met the various targets of the Mellennium Development Goals (MDGs). Within these overall development challenges, Nigerian women are the most vulnerable group that bears the blunt of underdevelopment. This is concomittant to the complex socio-cultural, economic, and political environment in the Nigeria where women are unfarely denied access to certain rights that foster development; rights that are taken for granted elsewhere. Considering the professed role of micro entrepreneurship as purveyor of development and the critical role of micro financing in poverty reduction, this paper examines the factors that hinder women in accessing micro credit, and the innovative measures they have initiated to counter these barriers and constraints. Based on interview conducted among women micro entrepreneurs, and evidence from key informant sources, the paper idenfifies factors summarised as internal constraints, socio-cultural constraints, and weak policy support as major contraints and barriers militating against women micro entrepreneurs from accessing micro credit. Suggestions for ameliorating these constraints were made, and policy implicantions drawn...