MICROFINANCE AND POVERTY REDUCTION IN NIGERIA: A Critical Assessment
►Cecilia A. Nwigwe, B. T. Omonona and Victor O. Okoruwa
This paper attempts to provide a critical assessment of microfinance as a strategy for poverty reduction in Nigeria. It argues that while microfinance has developed some innovative management and business strategies, its impact on poverty reduction remains in doubt. Microfinance, however, certainly plays an important role in providing safety-net and consumption smoothening. However, for any significant dent on poverty, the focus of public policy should be on growth-oriented and equity-enhancing programs, such as broad-based productive employment creation. There is also need to design financial sustainable models that increases outreach and scale up operations for the poor. More so, financial inclusion agenda should be considered and adopted in a concerted manner.
Keywords: Microfinance, Poverty, Nigeria.