Partnerships provide a way for organisations to develop a common agenda for action, leverage resources, and tap into outside expertise. Combining the efforts of individual partners can greatly magnify the effects of programme initiatives launched by local and international agencies alike, as seen in the case of Mercy Corps Nigeria and Y’ello Digital Financial Services.
Mercy Corps’ ‘Building Resilience in Complex Crisis (BRICC)’ programme funded by the European Union, recently signed a new partnership with Y’ello Digital Financial Services (owners of the MoMo Agent Network), the fintech subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, to efficiently deliver automated cash transfers and provide an avenue for programme participants with or without bank accounts to receive funds. This partnership will kick-start the use of MoMo Agent in the distribution of conditional and unconditional cash transfers to 14,270 households in Damaturu and Potiskum LGAs in Yobe state.
This partnership is funded by the European Union, to implement an array of early recovery interventions across North-East Nigeria which involves cash assistance to vulnerable households and young people to help restore and improve livelihoods, making them more resilient to conflict, climate shock, and stress.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant consequences on market opportunities and increased unemployment has necessitated timely interventions of this nature.
Of the participants that will be given cash transfers, 1,570 youths will receive funds to help them start a business after undergoing vocational training like automobile repairs, agribusiness, fashion designing, food business, and phone repairs, among others.
MoMo Agents provide safe, fast, and easy access to financial services for customers through their widespread presence and reliable service.
According to Dez Byamukama, BRICC Programme Director, Mercy Corps, “The major goal of the BRICC programme is to build the resilience of communities, by providing them with the capacity and resources to respond to shock and stress, which have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cash supports beneficiaries to respond to their basic needs and survive economic hardship, Automated cash transfer also reduces the cost and security risks associated with the transfer and direct distribution of cash.”
The presence of MoMo agents in communities where BRICC is implemented means faster and more efficient means of delivering cash transfers without participants having to wait in long queues. With an agent base of over 150,000 across the country, MoMo Agents provide safe, fast, and easy access to financial services for customers through their widespread presence and reliable service.
This partnership with Mercy Corps provides a unique opportunity to extend these benefits to the most vulnerable families in Yobe State and other conflict-affected states in the North East.
Commenting on the collaboration, Usoro Usoro, chief executive officer, Y’ello Digital Financial Services said YDFS is committed to ensuring that every Nigerian is able to seamlessly access financial services for their personal and business needs. “To do this, we constantly seek partnerships to support the financial inclusion strategy of the federal government. We are truly excited about this arrangement with Mercy Corps and the possibilities. With over 150,000 agents spread across the country, we are poised to deliver easy and fast cash transfers to beneficiaries of the programme in Yobe State and other locations within the country where required,” he stated.
The delivery of automated cash transfers for programme participants with or without bank accounts to receive funds aligns with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) financial inclusion target of 95 per cent by 2024.
Bulk disbursement service enables an organisation to make payments or disbursements to mobile phones of individuals. With bulk disbursements, it is easier and more secure to disburse cash to millions of beneficiaries, including employees via thousands of MoMo Agents across the country.
The service is open to all organisations and institutions both public and private (including non-profit) intending to make bulk payments to individuals.
The bulk disbursement services can be used for loan disbursement to recipients in any part of Nigeria, claims settlement, Salaries disbursement for companies and Casual payments, Promotional cash payments, Business Payments, Government and NGOs disbursement of funds to beneficiaries. More partnership is encouraged to support the financial inclusion strategy of the federal government. With over 150,000 agents spread across the country, MoMo Agent is poised to deliver easy and fast cash transfers to beneficiaries of the programme in Yobe State and other locations within the country where required.
– Ajayi, a public affairs analyst with Black House Media, writes from Lagos.