The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the commencement of a new disbursement to empower 98,000 Nigerians across the country with interest free loans.
This is according to a statement released by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, through her Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.
The Minister stated that they have concluded plans to roll out the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) 2.0 in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. This follows the final verification of Phase 1 applicants who qualified and were selected to benefit from small loans ranging from N50,000 to N300,000.
She also confirmed in the statement that all beneficiaries of GEEP 2.0 shall receive congratulatory and sensitization text messages in the coming days to inform them of their qualification and re-emphasise that the empowerment program is a loan and not a grant.
The statement reads: “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”.
“Sadiya 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 Disability 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 under-privileged 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,” the statement added.
The scheme is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty before 2030. Other related schemes include: N-Power, which is meant to reduce unemployment among Nigerian youth, P-YES, meant to empower unemployed Nigerians to be able to empower others, etc.