The Team Lead of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), Zainab Musawa, has advised 1,194 beneficiaries of the programme in the FCT to make adequate use of the money to better their conditions.
Speaking Tuesday in Abuja, during the roll out of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.O) for 1,194 beneficiaries, including farmers, traders, among others, Zainab said they were chosen among other beneficiaries and should not disappoint the federal government by being careless with the money.
She added that more beneficiaries are being captured on a daily basis and for those who are yet to be captured to be patient with the federal government as many will be captured and digitized to join thousands of beneficiaries.
“I will advise the beneficiaries to make maximum use of the opportunity of being selected among millions of Nigerians to establish themselves. They should use the money for what it is stipulated for, to lift themselves from poverty either as farmers or traders,” she said.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, who was represented by the Director of Humanitarian Affairs, Alhaji Ali Grema, said that the 1,194 beneficiaries have already been credited with N50,000 Loan.
He said: “We are gathered here today to witness the consolidation of one of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) designed by the Federal Government under the Leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to empower and encourage the vulnerable people in our society. This programme is being implemented in close partnership with the State Governments and this effort is a clear demonstration of our collective commitment to address poverty which today is the core developmental challenge confronting us as a people.
“Let me state here that since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration in 2015, when it inherited a National Poverty Incidence level averaging 70% going by National Bureau of Satistics (NBS), the Federal Government has paid more attention in generating solutions to address the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country despite other economic challenges the administration inherited at the time.
“This informed the decision to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in 2015 as a strategy for poverty reduction and enhancing social inclusion among our people especially the women and disabled in rural areas. This NSIP has been acclaimed by many to be the largest and most ambitious social protection programme in Africa, and it is currently attracting many partnerships including even from international development partners.
“I have personally witnessed the life-changing experiences on people who, hitherto, lived below the poverty line and those that are vulnerable to shocks, but are now living better lives.
“We are here to officially Roll-Out the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0) in FCT, Abuja. A programme designed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s 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 e.g. widows, youths, disabled and the displaced amongst others. GEEP is captured in three signature schemes namely the TraderMoni loan of N50,000, targeted towards uplifting under-privileged and marginalized youths between the ages of 18-40 years in Nigeria, MarketMoni an empowerment programme designed for under privileged and marginalized women between the ages of 18 – 65 in our society, specifically targeted towards Female headed households e.g., Widows, divorcees amongst other vulnerable groups, then the FarmerMoni loan scheme which is equally designed to provide agricultural inputs between N50,000 – N300,000 to rural farmers.
“After the creation of the Ministry in 2019, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme was restructured to have a top-bottom representation from the Federal, State and Local Government levels, respectively. In the first phase of GEEP programme about 1,142,783 potential beneficiaries where registered by the COMO’S across the 774 LGAs in Nigeria out of which 18,833 potential beneficiaries were registered in FCT across the 6 Area Councils after which verification was done about 1,194 beneficiaries were selected. Today I have gracefully come to Roll-Out the programme in the “Center of Unity” Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. I am glad to inform you that successful beneficiary has been credited with the sum of N50,000 Loan each from Access bank.
“In a bid to onboard more beneficiaries on to the GEEP programme, the Ministry has since January, 2023 commenced the second phase of GEEP registration of potential beneficiaries. The second phase of GEEP is expected to capture more vulnerable groups for the purpose of uplifting them out of abject poverty and to reduce unemployment in the society. With the complementary effort of Stakeholders in creating awareness, the target beneficiaries and many more citizens of the State will be on their way out of poverty to prosperity and we will, by the Grace of God, as a country, remain on the track of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.”
Also speaking, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola, who was represented by the Focal Person for FCT Social Investment Programme, Chinwendu Eteyem Amba, said that the money will help the beneficiaries increase their access to finance, support the growth and development of small and micro enterprises, so that standard of living can be improved in the society.
He said: “Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0) is government initiative aimed at advancing interest and collateral free credit and finance amongst the poor, vulnerable and underserved segment of the population. It has three components (Trader moni, Market Moni and Farmer Moni)
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development should be appreciated for going through due diligence of registering, verifying and enumerating the beneficiaries for the programme.
“The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is quite significant important in achieving the objectives of empowering the Women, Children and the Vulnerable in the territory these to help increase their access to finance, support the growth and development of small and micro enterprises, so that standard of living can be improved in the society.”
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with our reporter lauded the federal government over the initiative, saying they will use the money to fund their businesses.