Akpan Umoh, Uyo
The Federal Government under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development have commenced the distribution of grants for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom.
Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, who flagged off the distribution in Uyo on Tuesday said this was part of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) aimed at lifting 100 million people out of poverty.
Farouq, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, said the distribution was to consolidate the National Social Investment Programme to specially and effectively give lifting hand to many of the poorest and vulnerable citizens in the country.
She said that the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to reducing poverty and improving the lives of the average citizen.
According to him, NSIP programme which commenced in 2016 has impacted positively on millions of lives, especially the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria.
“In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to fighting poverty from all angles, l wish to further inform you that l am in Akwa Ibom today, with my team, to also carry out the following programmes:
“Roll-Out the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0): This is a soft loan programme designed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for vulnerable and low-income Nigerians who are involved in some sort of commercial activity but have never had the opportunity to access loans.
“The programme is meant to give priority to the most vulnerable in our society, such as widows, youth, persons with disability and the displaced amongst others. GEEP has three unique products, like TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FaermereMoni.
“The MarketMoni with a loan portfolio of N50,000, meant to uplift the under-privileged and marginalized women (such as widows and divorcees) has 14,326 registered beneficiaries in Akwa Ibom State.
“Ten thousand one hundred and ninety seven were digitized, 888 were verified and 694 have been enumerated for disbursement; and in the same vein, TraderMoni loan portfolio has 13, 691 registered in Akwa Ibom State, 7, 826 were digitized, 446 verified and 351 enumerated for disbursement,” Farouq said.
Farouq said with the complementary effort of the State Government and other stakeholders on the NSIP, the target beneficiaries and many more citizens of the State would be on their way out of poverty to prosperity.
She commended Gov. Udom Emmanuel for his contributions and partnership in ensuring that the NSIP was effectively implemented in the State.
In her remarks, Dr Ini Adiakpan, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare in Akwa Ibom said the state was grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) to reduce poverty in the country.
Adiakpan said the loans given to traders and farmers without any collateral would help the people to expand their businesses in the state.
The commissioner urged the beneficiaries of the NSIP programme to make the best use of the money to improve their lives.
Speaking to one of the beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer, Mrs Janet Otoyo, thanked the federal government for the grant given to her and promised to make judicious use of the money.