The Federal Government on Tuesday commenced the disbursement of soft loans to some 828 entrprenuers under its Government and Empowerment Programme 2.0 (GEEP 2.0).
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD), Hajia Sadiya Farouq performed the official flag-off of the GEEP 2.0 scheme with beneficiaries in Bayelsa.
Speaking to the beneficiaries, Farouq explained that they were entitled to between N50,000 and N300,00 interest-free loans with no collateral to develop and expand their businesses.
“l wish to further inform that l and my team are in Bayelsa State today to also carry out the Roll-Out of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0)
“GEEP is a programme designed by President Muhammadu Buhari administration for vulnerable and low-income Nigerians who are involved in some sort of commercial activity/capacity but have never had the opportunity to access loans.
“It is meant to give priority to the most vulnerable in our society eg widows, youth, disabled and the displaced amongst others,” She said.
She said that although 8,762 persons applied for the facility, 828 met the set criteria and were shortlisted to recieve the loan targetted at low-income earners engaged in sundry economic activities across the eight local governments in Bayelsa.
The minister said that the beneficiaries were free to take additional loans after the repayment and urged them to use the funds judiciously in a prudent manner.
According to her, the Federal Government had since 2016 initiated several social intervention programmes to bring succour and relief to the poor and vulnerable in its policy of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. By 2030.
In her remarks, Commissioner for Women and Children’s Affairs and Social Development in Bayelsa, Mrs Faith Opuene expressed appreciation on behalf of thebeneficiaries and urged the people to key into the programme.
She applauded the Federal Government for the gesture which she said would compliment the state government’s policy of empowering 210 persons monthly from the 105 wars spread out of the eight local government areas of the state.
Opuene, who expressed regret that only about 10 percent of the applicants for the facility were selected noted that there was need to sensitise the people of Bayelsa on the social intervention programmes of the federal government to increase the number of beneficiaries.
High point of the event was the presentation of dummy cheques and debit cards to selected beneficiaries.
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