A new phase of the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0) took off on 24th August 2021 with one million beneficiaries, four schemes and higher funds for beneficiaries. It is an increment on the first phase of the scheme that commenced in 2016.
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GEEP offers three programmes: TraderMoni for marginalized youth, MarketMoni that targets vulnerable women, and the FarmerMoni specifically focused on rural farmers. “Part of the new strategies 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 along with the provision of value chain and creation of digital marketplace (e-platform) for beneficiaries to sell their products,” Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Umar Sadiya Farouq, said.
GEEP 2.0 will also include “a digital integration and coordination platform along with a strong and centralized monitoring and evaluation system aimed at enhancing loans recovery.”
GEEP 2.0 is a component of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), a cluster of poverty reduction interventions approved by the Federal Government in 2016. The NSIP clusters include the NPOWER, GEEP, the Conditional Cash Transfer and the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, which collectively have so far impacted over 12 million households since inception and the numbers are growing.
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development manages the NSIP. The Ministry says: “The GEEP Programme was designed to give access to credit for poor and vulnerable people who are at the bottom of the economic pyramid; this includes persons living with disability. The target beneficiaries will be people who are already engaged in business enterprises such as traders, artisans, enterprising youth, farmers and agricultural workers, and other categories of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in furtherance of poverty eradication, employment generation, growth, and development of MSMEs throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The minister, Hajiya Farouq, elaborated at the launch of GEEP 2.0: “The GEEP programme is a veritable tool designed to end poverty in many ways. In other words, GEEP targets the unbanked poor and vulnerable but skilled population that have always been left out on credit delivery programmes and is directed at providing soft and affordable loans to finance their businesses.”
GEEP emphasises “credit and financial inclusion for over 37 million Nigerians at the base of the pyramid who are involved in active commercial activity but have never had the opportunity to access loans.”
The Humanitarian Affairs Ministry says GEEP has provided “incremental loans of between N10, 000 and N300, 000 to about 2.3 million beneficiaries under the three programmes. Beneficiaries are traders, artisans, agricultural workers and enterprising youth and other micro-service providers.
Minister Farouq said GEEP 2.0 builds on presidential approval to expand the scope to reach one million beneficiaries. She stated further that GEEP 2.0 will effectively deliver soft loans and skills to a wide range of unemployed citizens including persons living with disability, marginalized women and unemployed youth amongst other vulnerable groups in our society.”
Under GEEP 2.0, TraderMoni will empower and uplift vulnerable youth “like scavengers, market wheelbarrow boys, orphans and youth with special needs” and have a nationwide reach.