The Federal Government has officially rolled out the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0).
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, who launched the national phase of the programme in Katsina State, said the programme would be replicated in all the states of the federation.
The minister said with the rollout of the programme, disbursement of loans would begin in all the states of the federation.
At the presentation of cheques to peasant farmers and petty business women, she said the interest-free loans to beneficiaries was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to fighting poverty and its devastating impact from all angles.
The GEEP programme is categorised into three: TraderMoni loan of N50,000 targeted at uplifting the underprivileged and marginalised youths between the ages of 18 and 40 years; MarketMoni loan, also N50,000, for the underprivileged and marginalised women, like widows, divorcees, and other vulnerable groups; and the FarmerMoni loan, which is between N50,000 and N300,000 designed for small scale farmers in the communities to improve their agricultural productivity and inclusion in commercial farming.
In a statement in Abuja by the media aide to the minister, Nneka Anibeze, Hajiya Farouq said: “GEEP is a programme designed by President Buhari’s administration to create further opportunities for the poor, vulnerable and low-income Nigerians, especially those who are involved in viable informal productive activities with limited financial requirements but have never had access to loans from the formal financial sector.
“It is meant to give priority to the most vulnerable in our society, like widows, youth, persons with disabilities and the internally displaced persons (IDPs), amongst others.”
According to the statement, 59,161 potential beneficiaries were registered across the 34 local government areas of Katsina State but only 13,000 beneficiaries were verified and cleared to benefit from the interest-free loans for the first phase of the programme, while new registration is yet to commence.
The minister said the second phase of registration for 2022, which would accommodate more vulnerable individuals and groups, would be announced publicly.