On August 24th, 2021, the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) 2.0 began, with one million beneficiaries across four schemes and increased funding for beneficiaries. GEEP 2.0 is an improvement on the first phase of the programme, which started in 2016.
The GEEP programme is split into three initiatives: TraderMoni, which focuses on marginalized youth; MarketMoni, which targets vulnerable women; and FarmerMoni, specifically aimed at rural farmers. The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Umar Sadiya Farouq, explained that the new strategies of GEEP 2.0 include an increase in the loan portfolio of TraderMoni and MarketMoni loans from N10,000 to N50,000, while the FarmerMoni loans will now be N300,000. Furthermore, there will be a provision of value chain and creation of a digital marketplace (e-platform) for beneficiaries to sell their products.
In addition to these changes, GEEP 2.0 will feature a digital integration and coordination platform, as well as a strong and centralized monitoring and evaluation system that aims to enhance loan recovery.
GEEP 2.0 is part of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which is a group of poverty reduction interventions approved by the Federal Government in 2016. The NSIP includes NPOWER, GEEP, the Conditional Cash Transfer, and the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme. These initiatives have so far impacted over 12 million households since inception.
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development manages the NSIP. The ministry explains that the GEEP Programme was created to give access to credit for poor and vulnerable people who are at the bottom of the economic pyramid, including persons living with disabilities. The target beneficiaries are those already engaged in business enterprises such as traders, artisans, enterprising youth, farmers and agricultural workers, and other categories of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to further poverty eradication, employment generation, growth, and development of MSMEs throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The minister, Hajiya Farouq, elaborated at the launch of GEEP 2.0: “The GEEP programme is a veritable tool designed to end poverty in many ways. In other words, GEEP targets the unbanked poor and vulnerable but skilled population that have always been left out on credit delivery programmes and is directed at providing soft and affordable loans to finance their businesses.” GEEP emphasizes “credit and financial inclusion for over 37 million Nigerians at the base of the pyramid who are involved in active commercial activity but have never had the opportunity to access loans.”
The Humanitarian Affairs Ministry says GEEP has provided “incremental loans of between N10,000 and N300,000 to about 2.3 million beneficiaries under the three programmes. Beneficiaries are traders, artisans, agricultural workers and enterprising youth and other micro-service providers. Minister Farouq said GEEP 2.0 builds on presidential approval to expand the scope to reach one million beneficiaries. She stated further that GEEP 2.0 will effectively deliver soft loans and skills to a wide range of unemployed citizens including persons living with disability, marginalized women and unemployed youth amongst other vulnerable groups in our society.”
Under GEEP 2.0, TraderMoni will empower and uplift vulnerable youth such as scavengers, market wheelbarrow boys, orphans and youth with special needs and have a nationwide reach.