By Nefishetu Yakubu, Benin.
No Fewer than 2,099 poor and vulnerable persons have been selected to benefit from the Federal Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0) in Edo State.
The beneficiaries were selected from the 7,126 persons who registered for the programme in state.
Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, announced this during the inauguration of the cash grant and other Social Investment Programmes in Benin
Umar-Farouq, represented by Mrs Patience Achor, a deputy director in the ministry, said that the 2,099 beneficiaries were selected from across the 18 local government areas of the state after a verification exercise.
She said that more than 1,142,783 potential beneficiaries registered across the 774 local government areas of the country in the first phase of GEEP.
The minister said that the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in the state included TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni.
According to her, the GEEP has been restructured to have a top-bottom representation at the federal, state and local government levels
She added that the grant to vulnerable groups was designed to provide a one-off cash grant of N20,000 to beneficiaries across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Our target in Edo State is to disburse the grant to 2,764 beneficiaries across the state. 70 per cent of these beneficiaries must be women, while the remaining 30 per cent will be the youth.
“The president has further directed that at least 15 per cent of the total number of beneficiaries must specifically be allocated to citizens with special needs,” she said.
According to her, the initiatives are in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to fighting poverty from all angles.
Earlier, Mrs Osayuwamen Aladeselu, Edo State Focal Person, NSIP, said that more than 4,009 persons had benefitted from the MarketMoni scheme in the state.
She also said that more than 30,000 persons had benefitted from TraderMoni scheme since 2019 when the GEEP 1.0 was inaugurated in the state by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Aladeselu commended the Federal Government for the empowerment programme and advised the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the funds.