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FG To Punish Women Empowerment Fund Loan Defaulters

Minister for Women Affairs,  Aisha Alhassan
Minister for Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan

By Kolawole Oloyede

The federal government has warned that beneficiary of funds to be disbursed through social investment interventions who default in repayments will be sanctioned and denied use of banking facilities in the country.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Jummai Alhassan, gave the warning on Monday during the presentation of ”Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, and National Women Empowerment Fund, NAWEEF” at the Kano State grassroots town hall meeting, held at the Coronation Hall, Kano

She revealed that the federal government had put together a social investment intervention programme to help cushion the economic hardship faced majority of the people.

She stated further that the intervention scheme comprises of five pillars, namely the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, the cob Creation programme known as STEM, NAWEEF and GEEP.

The minister stated that the programmes are domiciled with the Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, BoI, which is the administering bank for the fund

The GEEP, she noted, is a micro-credit programme for men and women, boys and girls, adding that out of the scheme’s fund, the sum of N1.6 billion had been set aside exclusively for women.

She noted that NAWEEF is exclusively for women who are engaged in productive enterprises, while GEEP is for men and women who are artisans, farmers, market women or entrepreneurs engaged in productive enterprises.

Each beneficiary will get between N10,000 – N100,000 as loan which is repayable in six months with one month grace after disbursement ,before repayment starts.

She added that each beneficiary must belong to a registered association, cooperative, trade or organisation, which must have a minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 members and each group must have a group leader.

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The loan, the minister said, will be paid directly into the personal account of beneficiaries and not the group accounts, therefore each applicant in a group must have his or her personal account, which must have a BVN that will be used for verification.

Alhassan said the loans are interest free and no collateral is required adding that the application forms are also free and accounts can be opened in any commercial or microfinance bank of beneficiary’s choice.

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