N85.5m loan disbursed to over 1, 700 GEEP beneficiaries in Kogi
The Kogi Government says it has disbursed N85.5 million to 1, 710 beneficiaries in the Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) “MarketMoni” under the Federal Government social investment intervention programme.
Mr Adoga Ibrahim, The Special Adviser to the Governor on Multilateral Donor Agencies and Special Projects/Focal Person on Social Investment Programme, disclosed this at press briefing in Lokoja on Thursday.
Ibrahim said 1, 710 beneficiaries had received alert of N50,000 each, while about additional 10, 000 intending beneficiaries were being processed to get their disbursement before the end of this year.
He added that 130, 000 GEEP forms were distributed to applicants across the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi, but only 30, 000 forms have been returned for processing, urging the people to complete the forms and return it for processing.
He said the State Government through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, had so far registered 1, 056 cooperatives between 10 to 15 persons in each cooperative.
“The government is doing her best to meet the target of one million within the next few years. The GEEP program is too huge to allow it to fail. We will do our best to ensure it succeed.
“Kogi GEEP is one of the best in the country, what we are doing now is to push the GEEP program towards private sector partnership driven.
“We are targeting people at the interior and we will print the forms and take it to their doorsteps.
“We are building structures through the GEEP that will allow the cooperatives to become so strong by themselves,” Adoga said.
He applauded the governor for putting up good structure and for backing up all the programmes with the state’s counterpart funding to support their operations with a furnished and digitalised office.
Mr Lekan Onijingi, Head of Kogi GEEP, said the program had been running very well in Kogi and urged the people to propagate the good news by informing their colleagues in office to key into it.
“The funds are already available at Bank of Industry (BOI) for disbursement as soon as the conditions are met by the beneficiaries the money will be disbursed under two weeks,” Onijingi said.
In his remarks, Mr Femi Bolaji, the Head, Unit of N-Power in Kogi, said investment programs were parts of the campaign promises of the FG to alleviate the suffering of the people through soft and affordable loan.
He added that the N-power beneficiaries were also setting themselves up into cooperatives to benefit from the GEEP loan, urging everybody to key into it.
He, however, advised the beneficiaries not to default in paying back the loan as scheduled.
Mr Abdullahi Bashir, GEEP Technical Unit, said the GEEP targets market men and women, traders, artisans, youths by providing interest-free loans ranging from N10,000 to N100,000, and very easy to pay back, with a one-time administrative fee of 5 per cent.
Bashir also reiterated the need for all beneficiaries to pay back their loans within the scheduled period of 24 weeks, after two weeks of moratorium.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Seik Ahmed from Lokoja, commended the government and the GEEP team for their sincerity and transparency in the whole process, saying “this is the first time I am witnessing loan disbursement with non-partisan and without bribe”.