From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Only 1,045 persons or about 3.7 per cent of a total of 28,017 persons who registered for the federal government TraderMoni and MarketMoni packages have been given the soft loan worth N50,000 each.
The loans were presented to the beneficiaries on Tuesday by the permanent secretary of the federal ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo, who represented the minister, Sadiya Farouq, at the flag-off of the Grant for Vulnerable Groups programme (GVG), held at the Women Development Centre, Uyo, in Akwa Ibom State.
Dr Gwarzo said in his address that he came to Akwa Ibom State in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to fighting poverty from all angles, to roll out the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0).
“This is a soft loan programme designed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for vulnerable and low-income Nigerians who are involved in some sort of commercial activity but have never had the opportunity to access loans. The programme is meant to give priority to the most vulnerable in our society, such as widows, youth, persons with disability and the displaced amongst others.
“GEEP has three unique products i.e TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FaermereMoni. The MarketMoni with a loan portfolio of N50,000, meant to uplift the under-privileged and marginalized women (such as widows and divorcees) has 14,326 registered beneficiaries in Akwa Ibom State, 10,197 were digitized, 888 were verified and 694 have been enumerated for disbursement; and in the same vein, TraderMoni loan portfolio has 13,691 registered in Akwa Ibom State, 7,826 were digitized, 446 verified and 351 enumerated for disbursement.
“Today, I am here, in Akwa Ibom State, to roll out the GEEP programme. All successful beneficiaries will today start receiving credit alerts from Access Bank by God’s grace.”
He also said he was in the state to flag off the National Sensitization Exercise for the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), which seeks to educate communities and stakeholders on the proper and more effective implementation of the HGSFP.
“So far, under the NHGSFP, 9.9 million children are currently being effectively fed nationwide. Based on this success and noting the huge impact of the programme, especially on the children of the poor in rural areas, President Buhari has approved that the programme be expanded by another 5 million children.
Still in the package was the onboarding of Stream II of the Independent Monitors (IMs) who are local youths employed under the NSIP for a limited period of 12 months, on a monthly stipend of N30,000 each, and charged to closely monitor and report on the implementation and performance of all the NSIP projects in the State.
The IMs, Gwarzo said; “are to mainly ensure that the primary objectives of the NSIPs are achieved. While 60 IMs were engaged in 2021 (Stream 1), stream II has 36 IMs, who today will be issued with employment letters and specialised monitoring devices to enhance their responsibilities. In addition, about 52 of the stream 1 who performed creditably well will be issued with re-engagement letters today.”
“We are also in the State to flag off the Digitized Cash Transfer payment system for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme. The import of this exercise is to create room for a reliable, transparent, accountable and accessible database for seamless disbursement to beneficiaries of the CCT.”
He said with the complementary effort of the State Government and other stakeholders on the NSIP, the target beneficiaries and many more citizens of the State would be on their way out of poverty to prosperity; “and we will, by the Grace of God, as a Nation, remain on track of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030 as designed by President Buhari.”
Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr Ini Adiakpan thanked the Ministry for extending its humanitarian services to Akwa Ibom state and extended Gov Udom Emmanuel’s felicitations to them.
Dr Adiakpan however called for an increase in the amount for the feeding of each child, saying; “The N100 is not enough for them to give quality to our children. I want you to review that amount again as soon as possible so that the production in terms of food can be guaranteed for our children
“These programmes you have flagged off in the state are commendable and will help our traders, especially our women to expand their capacity and I encourage you to do more.”