After it’s Homegrown School Feeding Programme and the NGN 5000 monthly being paid to poor Nigerians, the Federal Government has kicked off another one of its Social Investment Programmes (SIPs), the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
GEEP aims to provide soft interest-loans targeted at micro-enterprises run by traders, artisans, market sellers, entrepreneurs, and farmers with the involvement of cooperatives, and executed through the Bank of Industry, BOI. It is essentially a credit scheme that gives applicants who enrol for it no-interest loans with only a one-time 5 percent administrative fee charged for costs.
According to the Presidency, over one million Nigerians have enrolled in the programme and at least 23,400 have benefited already in 13 states and the Federal Capital Territory have so far benefited from soft loans disbursed as at today. To facilitate the loan disbursement, four payment providers were signed on for the programme with more to come by March to increase coverage, especially for the rural areas.
According to Laolu Akande, about 8,436 market associations and cooperatives nationwide have been registered for the scheme that will entitle them to loans ranging from NGN 10,000, to NGN 100,000 per applicants. The loans would be paid directly to individuals, who belong to registered associations and/or cooperatives. This is so the Federal Government can ensure that the loan receivers are endorsed as credible by their peers. Timely repayments will also be ensured by granting the loans through only BVN registered accounts.
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