By Ebi Kesiena
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has concluded plans to empower 98,000 Nigerians with Free Interest Loan in its 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.
The Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq stated this in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media Nneka Anibeze, that all beneficiaries of GEEP 2.0 shall receive congratulatory and sensitization text messages in the coming days informing them of their qualification and re-emphasis that the empowerment program is a loan and not a grant.
According to Umar Farouq after the nationwide rollout of the program, enumeration exercise to capture beneficiaries’ biodata, will take place.
“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 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’’.