Abuja – About 8,436 market associations and cooperatives have been captured nationwide under the General Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) as disbursement begins in eight states including the Federal Capital Territory.
According to a paper obtained from the Presidency on Monday in Abuja, President Mohammadu Buhari is meticulously implementing the N500 billion social investment programmes in spite challenges of declining revenues.
The paper, however, did not name the eight states presently benefiting from GEEP which is one of the four social intervention programme of the Federal Government.
The programme is a loan scheme with no interest element and only a 5 per cent administrative fee for costs to more than 1.2 million Nigerian artisans, traders, market men and women, as well as women cooperatives.
GEEP which is estimated to gulp N140 billion is being disbursed through the Bank of Industry. The loans range from N10,000, to N100, 000 per applicant.
The programme, is designed to ensure that states and local government areas buy-in, as well as community ownership, for the building of capacity and sustainability within those jurisdictions.
“While the loans would be paid directly to individuals, they would be expected to belong to registered associations or cooperatives to ensure that they are endorsed as credible, and to ensure timely repayments.
“It is important to emphasise that qualification and selection for the programme is not based on partisan, ethnic or religious affiliations.
“Conscious effort has also been made to ensure that we depart from those considerations that had hitherto adversely impacted on the successful implementation of similar programmes in the past,’’ it stated.
According to the paper, payments will be effected directly to the beneficiaries through their bank accounts to reduce the possibility of waste or corruption.