The federal government has flagged off the restructured Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), known as GEEP 2.0, in an effort to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Sadiya Umar Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, inaugurated the programme in Abuja on Tuesday.
Farouq said the programme is one of the components of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) designed to end poverty in many ways.
The minister said the GEEP now targets skilled populations that have always been left out on credit delivery programmes by providing soft and affordable loans to finance their businesses.
“The GEEP is innovatively targeted and delivered under three unique products – the TraderMoni for marginalised youths, The MarketMoni targets vulnerable women, and the FarmerMoni specifically focuses on rural farmers,” she said.
“With President Muhammdu Buhari’s gracious approval of expansion to provide loans to an additional one million beneficiaries with emphasis to targeting smallholder farmers in the year 2020/2021, the GEEP has been restructured and is being flagged-off today as GEEP 2.0.
“The GEEP 2.0 is structured to effectively deliver soft loans and skills to a wide range of unemployed citizens including persons living with disability, marginalised women and unemployed youths amongst other vulnerable groups in our society.
“I wish to state here that the GEEP 2.0 is well-coordinated and has an implementation model that accommodates representation at the Federal, State and Local Government levels.”
The minister said the restructured GEEP include an increase in the loan portfolio of TraderMoni and MarketMoni loans from N10,000 to N50,000, while the FarmerMoni is now N300,000.
She said there is also the provision of a value chain and the creation of a digital marketplace (E-platform) for beneficiaries to sell their products.
“In addition, there is a digital integration and coordination platform along with a strong and centralised monitoring and evaluation system aimed at enhancing loans recovery,” she said.
Sunday Dare, minister of youths and sports, who also represented Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, expressed delight at the inauguration of the GEEP 2.0.
Dare said such efforts would reduce the burden of youths unemployment, adding that youths are the biggest beneficiaries of NSIP.
On her part, Pauline Tallen, the minister of women affairs, expressed satisfaction with the programme, saying women and youths have been victims of humanitarian crisis and poverty.
Tallen said that the GEEP 2.0 would now help the poor and marginalised women and youths who did not have collateral to secure loans.
Zainab Musawa, the team lead for the programme, said intended beneficiaries would be effectively supervised and monitored by desk officers in all 774 local government areas, state programme managers and the ministry in partnership with National Orientation Agency.
“Essentially, GEEP 2.0 is a continuation of the Buhari administration’s laudable empowerment drive committed to the upliftment of oppressed Nigerians, and we hope the programme will engender job creation,” she said.
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