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FG announces N75 billion interest-free loan for market women



Betta Edu

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, announced on Tuesday that the Federal Government is set to provide a non-interest loan of N50,000 to 1.5 million market women under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program.

This initiative aims to boost their capital and foster business expansion.

She stated that the N75 billion market women fund, to be named the Iyaloja Fund for underprivileged female traders, is set to be inaugurated on October 17th.

During an advocacy visit to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, the minister said in Abuja that the program would unfold in three phases, with the first phase set to benefit 500,000 individuals.

She said,

  • “We will start right away with the GEEP Programme; we have Iyaloja Funds, which is equivalent to Market Women Money. We have the Jaga Funds, which is a capital fund for traders; and Farmers’ Money, which is called the Hugo Fund. The Farmer’s Money will be provided to the poorest of the farmers to enable them to go into the next farming season.
  • “The Iyaloja Fund will be providing for poor market traders in the market, helping them to improve their capital and expand their businesses. These are non-interest loans given to these persons.”

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Speaking further, Edu stated that President Bola Tinubu’s administration remained dedicated to combating poverty by unveiling an eight-point agenda.

As part of this effort, they announced a Conditional Cash Transfer program, providing N75,000 in three instalments to assist 15 million households, equivalent to 62 million individuals.

She mentioned that the Federal Government offers various programs, such as grants for vulnerable groups through N-Power, which aims to create jobs for the unemployed within the community.

Additionally, they have several other initiatives like the Renewed Hope Shelter, which aims to provide shelter for the impoverished, Internally Displaced Persons, and refugees.

  • “This program is not the one you give contracts to people to build houses. The communities will build their houses by themselves. We would just provide the enabling environment. And they are expected to source for everything they will use to build that house locally, including the furniture in the house,” the minister said.

She requested the Minister of Information’s assistance in promoting the program, especially through the National Orientation Agency.

This involvement aims to inform communities and facilitate the inclusion of the most vulnerable individuals in the National Social Register, which is presently undergoing verification.

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