The federal government says 2.3 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accessed interest-free loans under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) between 2016 and 2020.
Sadiya Umar-Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, was speaking at an event to mark the ministry’s one year anniversary in Abuja on Friday.
GEEP, which is a part of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), provides loans under its TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni programmes.
Other social investment programmes are N-Power, Home Grown School Feeding programme and conditional cash transfer (CCT).
Umar-Farouq said GEEP provided loans 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,” Umar-Farouq said.
According to the minister, 109,823 beneficiaries from batches A and B of the N-Power scheme have set up businesses in their communities.
On the school feeding programme, Umar-Farouq 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 said 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.