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An association of Nigeria Peace Corps alumni and other friends of Nigeria who support the interests of the Nigerian people.

Post-Loan Interview for Ten Women from Zankan Marwa

By Kazanka Comfort, General Secretary, Fantsuam Foundation

At the completion of every loan cycle, all Fantsuam’s microfinance clients are required to complete a post-loan assessment interview conducted by Fantsuam’s field officers prior to progressing to the next cycle. Following the interviews, the Cycle 3 loan of N20,000 [N17,000 ~ $100] per client, was disbursed, funds once again supplied by Friends of Nigeria. 

Completion of loan Cycle 2: N10,000 per client disbursed in September 2008. Loan provided by Friends of Nigeria. The loan was repaid in full and on schedule. The interview on March 12, 2009, was with six of the 10 women, taking place in the house of the Zankan District Head and loan guarantor. Six of them are involved in buying grains and selling in local markets, either buying wholesale from the market or from neighboring communities. All women are also involved in some kind of small-scale farming including crops or livestock rearing. 

Esther Daniel (Centre Chief). In addition to her part-time job as a primary school teacher, Esther sells accessories including shoes, bags and jewelry. Initially the business was stifled by the lack of capital, which prevented her from realizing any significant profit. With the loan she was able to buy and sell ten pairs of shoes rather than four per month. Since she has been able to increase the size of her business, her monthly profit has increased to N9,000. She is looking to diversify her business with a larger loan and start raising pigs and poultry.

Mary Abba: Like other members of the group Mary retails grains such as millet, maize, guinea corn, soya beans and locus beans, buying the goods from a wholesaler and selling them in three local markets every week. Prior to receiving a loan from Fantsuam, her activities were limited to occasions when she could take weekly loans of N1,000 or N2,000 from her friends to top up her own cash of about N3,000, buying as much grains as the money would allow and subsisting on the resultant profit after returning the loan. The loan from Fantsuam gave her a head-start and security of supply so that she could run her business more predictably. The profit that she has realized in the last six months has enabled her to pay her children’s school fees and bulk-buy a N7,500 bag of rice to keep the family fed.

Titi Abba sells locally made pots and baskets as well as palm oil. She also has a small farm, growing yams and guinea corn. Together these businesses realize an average weekly profit of N1,400. She also had the experience of getting loans from her friends before the Fantsuam loan but she has stopped. From the profit she makes from the loan she pays her children’s school fees, feeds her family and buys toiletries. At the moment she has accumulated income of N4,000 after repaying the loan in full. 

Ladi Ayuba got the loan of N10,000 for bean cake processing with her business partner, her daughter-in-law, Deborah Solomon. Both of them purchase the ingredients and process the bean cake, which they transport to a neighboring state, Bauchi, for sale as specialized fish bait. They sell the bean cake produced from a N10,000 bag of soya beans (plus other expenses such as firewood, leaf and plastic wrapping) for N28,000. Deborah has used her profit to buy a goat and to assist her family because her husband has lost his job. Ladi Ayuba used her profit to buy a piglet for N3,000. 

Jummai Antony buys and sells grains such as maize, guinea corn, beans and dried okro. The Fantsuam loan assisted her greatly during the rainy season allowing her to bulk buy guinea corn (3 bags) and beans (in basins) from the women coming from the neighboring communities. Despite having paid off the Fantsuam loan in full, she still has a bag of dried okro which should realize N10,000. Jummai also raises pigs, and her sow recently bore 8 piglets, which each sold for N3,000. With the profit she bought 2 goats and used the rest to feed her family and has already has N5,000 in capital set aside, even before she collects the next cycle of loan. 

Jummai Anthony selling grains in the Kogoro market.

Ntta Akut also sells grains such as guinea corn, millet and maize. She supplements the sales she can make from her own small millet farm (yielded a bag) with grains bought from wholesalers at the market, allowing her to increase her daily profit. The Fantsuam loan was invested both to support her farm and to increase its size weekly. Ntta said she bought a set of cushions for her sitting room from the additional profit she was able to make from the loan she collected. She said: “I did not have anything in my room, but now my room is furnished as a result of this loan. My children come to me for assistance confidently.” Ntta has also accrued cash of her own of N5,000. 

Mary Danladi sells rice, beans, palm oil and groundnuts as well as taking opportunities for other seasonal businesses. She has used her profit from these to pay her medical bills which can be as much as N10,000 monthly as she needs to attend weekly medical check-ups in one of the teaching hospitals. She has also used her profit to pay her children’s school fees. 

Remaining clients: Three of the Zankan women have returned to school for further education and were unable to attend the interview due to exams that day. However, Esther Daniel confirmed that all three were in grain businesses. Martha Dauda, Juliana Sunday and Hannatu Peter sell grains, soya beans, groundnuts and maize. Their businesses are growing. 

The community leader (Hakimi) was also interviewed. Following the typical Grameen model, the community leader will take the role as the official guarantor for Fantsuam’s loans. The Zankan Hakimi said that prior to receiving the loan, lack of disposable income made it very difficult for the women to meet the basic needs of themselves and their families. He confessed that initially he had been reluctant to stand as a guarantor for these women. However, having heard of the progress that the women had made as a result of the loans, he was very happy to have done so. He made a strong request from Fantusam Foundation to continue assisting these women with loans in order to reach a position where their businesses are sustainable and provide a secure income for the clients and their families. His second request was that the Fantsuam team should be a bit patient with the women generally because they are just beginning to learn new skills as a result of their relationship with Fantsuam Foundation. He said he hoped to introduce more groups to come and access Fantsuam’s loan scheme.

 The centre chief Esther Daniel briefs the group. The Zankan I women wait outside the Hakimi’s house. Titi collects her Cycle 3 loan. 

Friends of Nigeria is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. 
Email:  fonigeria@gmail.com President phone: 978-562-3613

Mailing address: Friends of Nigeria, c/o Warren Keller, PO Box 8032, Berkeley, CA 94707

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