On Tuesday, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, announced that the Federal Government will provide a non-interest loan of N50,000 to 1.5 million market women through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme. This initiative aims to enhance their capital base and support the expansion of their businesses.
According to her, the N75bn market women fund, known as the Iyaloja Fund for poor market women traders, will be launched on October 17.
The minister, who announced in Abuja during an advocacy visit to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the programme would be implemented in three phases with 500,000 persons scheduled to benefit from the first phase.
She said, “We will start immediately with the GEEP Programme; we have Iyaloja Funds, equivalent to Market Women Money. We have the Jaga Funds, a capital fund for traders; and Farmers’ Money, the Hugo Fund. The Farmer’s Money will be provided to the poorest farmers, enabling them to go into the next farming season.
“The Iyaloja Fund will provide for poor market traders in the market, helping them improve their capital and expand their businesses. These are non-interest loans given to these persons.”
Also Read: ₦250,000 FG Loan by NDE Begins
Edu said the administration of President Bola Tinubu had reiterated its commitment to fighting poverty through the eight-point agenda by announcing the Conditional Cash Transfer of N75,000 in three tranches in support of 15 million households, which translates to 62 million individuals.
She said the Federal Government also had other programs like grants to vulnerable groups under the N-Power, which provides jobs for the unemployed in the community and several other programmes, including the Renewed Hope Shelter, where shelter would be provided for the poor and the Internally Displaced Persons and refugees.
“This programme is not the one you give contracts to people to build houses. The communities will build their houses by themselves. We would provide the enabling environment. And they are expected to source for everything they will use to build that house locally, including the furniture,” the minister said.
She sought the support of the Minister of Information for the propagation of the programme, particularly the National Orientation Agency, to inform the communities and be involved in the capture of the poorest of the poor on the National Social Register, which is currently undergoing verification.