James Emejo in Abuja
The Bank of Industry (BoI) has enlisted 200 beneficiaries in Kano for the N140 billion Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEED) initiated by the federal government.
GEED is one of the five pillars of the federal government’s social investment intervention scheme aimed at empowering vulnerable groups in the country.
Other programmes under the social investment intervention scheme include, the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, the Job Creation Programme N-Power, and the Student Busary Programme.
Speaking during a town hall meeting with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo in Kano, the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, said GEEP, which is being implemented by the development finance institution was designed to provide micro credit to artisans, farmers, market women and entrepreneurs engaging in productive enterprise.
The meeting afforded the vice president the opportunity to interact with traders, market men and women, artisans, food vendors and small business owners on the social intervention programmes of government.
According to the minister, each beneficiary who must belong to a registered association or cooperative, is entitled to a loan between N10,000 and N100,000 repayable within six months.
She said the bank would disburse the loans directly to beneficiaries’ personal accounts with verifiable BVN.
According to her, “Loans will be disbursed and repayment collected through local banks and money agents in order to reach remote areas where there are no banking facilities. Group leaders will be required to help mobilise their members for verification and repayment of the loans promptly.
“The loans are interest free and no collateral is required. There is only an administrative charge of 5% which covers the bank’s expenses for administering the fund. Payback period is 6 months and there is a one-month grace period after getting the loan before repayment starts.
“A weekly recovery plan has been prepared to ease repayment for beneficiaries. For example, a loan of N10,000 will be repaid through a weekly repayment of approximately N440 while a N50,000 loan requires about N2,200 weekly repayment.”