THE federal is to give loans to 98,000 persons in another phase of its empowerment programme, under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development.
The beneficiaries, who cut across the nation’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,FCT, have since been engaged in the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, otherwise known as GEEP 2.0.
Already, the final verification of Phase 1 applicants selected having been certified qualified, to benefit from the small loans said to be ranging from N50,000 to N300,000, has been concluded.
Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq, in a statement to this effect, Tuesday, by her Special Assistant,Media,Nneka Ikem Anibeze, said “all beneficiaries of GEEP 2.0 shall receive congratulatory and sensitization text messages in the coming days informing them of their qualification.”
Farouq, the statement explained, “re-emphasized that the empowerment program is a loan and not a grant.”
“All qualified beneficiaries will soon receive their disbursement alerts. We wish to remind all qualified beneficiaries that this is a loan payable without interest. It is not a grant or a government windfall. It is a soft interest-free loan that must be paid back within 9 months”, the statement read.
It read further:”Minister Umar Farouq also announced that the Ministry is planning a rollout of the program nationwide, after which an enumeration exercise to capture beneficiaries’ biodata, will take place.
“The GEEP 2.0 is a loan scheme designed by the Federal Government to provide financial inclusion and give credit access to poor and vulnerable individuals, including Persons With disabilities and persons at the bottom of the economic pyramid who are engaged in small scale commercial activities under its three flagship schemes: MarketMoni, TraderMoni, and FarmerMoni.
“Tradermoni targets uplifting under-privileged and marginalized youths aged between 18-40 years in Nigeria by providing them with loans of N50,000 while MarketMoni targets underprivileged and marginalized women aged between 18-55 years like Widows, divorcees amongst other vulnerable groups. They get interest-free loans of N50,000 payable within 6-9 months.
FarmerMoni is for Nigerian farmers “aged between 18-55 years in rural areas that operate in the agricultural space. They are provided with loans of up to N300,000 for farming input. This scheme has 12 months including 3 months moratorium and 9 months repayment period.”