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2.3 Million SMEs Have Benefited From Interest-Free Loans – Humanitarian Affairs Minister

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Sadiya Umar-Farouq
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Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, says 2.3 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have benefited from the interest-free loan provided by the ministry through its Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) between 2016 and 2020.

Umar-Farouq made this known while speaking at an event to mark the Humanitarian Ministry’s one year anniversary in Abuja on Friday.

GEEP is part of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), provides loans under its TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni programmes.

According to the Minister, the programme has provided loans of between N10,000 and N300,000 to traders, artisans, enterprising youths, agricultural workers and other micro-service providers.

“Since its inception in 2016 to date, GEEP has empowered over 2.3 million such micro-enterprises with interest-free loans to grow their businesses,” she said.

Umar-Farouq stated that about 109,823 beneficiaries from Batches A and B of the N-Power scheme had gone on to set up businesses in their communities.

“We are gratified to note that through N-Power we have achieved a net lowering of the youth unemployment figures despite population growth,” she added.

On the school feeding programme, the Minister said the total number of children enrolled on the programme was 9,196,823, as verified by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“It is worthy of note that at the onset of the pandemic, the national social register contained data of over 2.6 million poor and vulnerable households (with over 11 million individuals) across 34 states and the federal capital territory (FCT),” she said.

“With the accelerated registration and rapid expansion, the register has, as at June 30, grown to 3.7 million (equivalent to 15.5 million individuals) across 36 states and the FCT.”

Umar-Farouq further disclosed that the federal government is working to ensure the establishment of the national disability commission and the take-off of the national senior citizen’s centre.

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