The Executive Director, Micro Enterprise, Bank of Industry, Mrs Toyin Adeniji, says more than 1.5 million Nigerians have benefited from the Federal Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) scheme since inception in 2016.
Adeniji said at a news conference in Abuja that the scheme was one of the four social intervention programmes of the Federal Government.
She said the scheme had three products – MarkekMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni – and that the beneficiaries were traders, artisans, framers, petty traders, tricycle operators, among others.
She said that the scheme had two primary goals of access to finance and financial inclusion.
”GEEP first product, MarketMoni, is a loan between N50, 000 and N300,000 for upper end of micro enterprises which more than 350,000 businesses have benefited from.
”The second one is FarmerMoni which starts from N300,000 and is for farmers and has more than 5,000 farmers.
“The third one is TraderMoni, a micro credit loan for petty traders, which starts from N10,000 to N15,000, N20,000, N50, 000 and N100,000 and has benefited more than 1.2 million petty traders,” Adeniji said.
She said that the minimum criteria for accessing GEEP include being a verified trader with a verified place of trade and possession of a Bank Verification Number for MarketMoni and FarmerMoni.
In addition, the beneficiary must be a member of a certified market association or cooperative society and having a bank account or mobile wallet.
Adeniji said that agents were prohibited from requesting for any information not listed in the criteria for each facility.
“Under no circumstances is a Permanent Voter Card or any political indication are requested when applying for these loans,” she said.
Adeniji said the government had the data of the 1.5 million traders who had received the loans.
She said that the loans could be repaid through commercial banks, local agents and by purchasing of GEEP vouchers in various markets.
According to her, every beneficiary of the scheme is a loan obligor to Bank of Industry.
“The bank has developed a structured framework to execute the programme,” she said.
Adeniji said that the Federal Government planned to train traders on the use of technology to drive information and also promised to create more awareness on the scheme.