CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Microfinance has emerged as an effective strategy for poverty reduction. Across developing countries (Nigeria for example) micro, small and medium enterprises are turning to microfinance institutions (MFIS) for an array of financial service-microfinance is acknowledged as one of the prime strategies to achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs)- access to sustainable financial service enable owners of micro enterprises to increase their capital base, build assets and reduce their vulnerability to external stocks. Access to financial services enable poor household to move from everyday struggle for survival to planning for the future, investing in better nutrition their children’s education, health and empowering women especially. However, the potency of microfinance as a development strategy is contingent upon the existence of microfinance institutions which: 1. Have adequate outreach and more impact on poverty 2. Achieve financial and operating self-sufficient 3. Deliver responsive services to micro and small enterprise Microfinance is the study of loans, savings and other basic financial services to the poor who are traditionally not served by the conventional financial institution. These owners of micro and small enterprise require a diverse range of financial instruments to meet working capital requirement, build assets, stabilize consumption and shield themselves against risk. According to Ehigiamusoe (2008) microfinance primarily focuses on alleviating poverty through provision of financial services to the poor or owners of micro enterprises. Services users include artisans, small holder farmers, food processors petty traders and other persons who operate micro enterprises according to (Okereke et al 2009). The financial services include working capital loans, consumer credit, savings pension etc. in practice, microfinance is much more than disbursement management and collection of little bits of loans. Microfinance is not charity organization despite its application as “poverty lending”. Primarily microfinance seeks to create access to credit for the poor who ordinarily are locked out of financial services in the formal financial market for reasons of their poverty that is lack of command over assets. If therefore places obligation on the borrowers for proper utilization and complete repayment of the borrowed amount even at commercial interest rate.