Issues in client targeting are two in nature; gender targeting or poverty targeting (Brau and Woller, 2004). The nature of target to some extent will determine the ‘best practices’ in conjunction with local specific situation. In the first issue of gender targeting, the question has always been whether to lend to women or men in the context of which will give wider reach and benefit the society. This position was examined in the context of what are contained in recent literature with respect to microfinance activities in Nigeria using Chi-square non-parametric method of analysis to test the hypothesis differentials. It has, therefore, not been universally confirmed that extending microfinance to women alone or more than men will benefit the society more than otherwise. What has been observed was that giving more microfinance access to women will definitely empower them, but without examining the implication of that on the African social structure. Also when this is examined in context of targeting the poor, fundamental problem of still defining the purpose of microfinance as poverty alleviation is raised. This study recommends that gender distribution characteristics should not be a determinant of modus operandi of microfinance institutions in Nigeria, but rather the choice of poverty targeting, which is one of its target.
Key words: Microfinance, gender, millennium development goals.
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