The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhasan yesterday in Birnin Kebbi said N1.6 billion has been set aside exclusively for women empowerment under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme popularly known as GEEP.
Speaking during an event on the advocacy and sensitization of women on GEEP and the National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF) at the Presidential Lodge in Birnin Kebbi, the minister stated that one of the mandates of her ministry was to carter for the well-being of women, children, the aged, people with disabilities, the vulnerable and distressed persons who together constitute about 70 percent of the Nigerian population.
She said the federal government GEEP and NAWEF were special funds for financial inclusion and micro-credit programme aimed at providing micro-credit loans to men and women with the objective of reducing poverty among women.
“It is for both men and women who are artisans, farmers, market women or entrepreneurs who engage in productive enterprise. Once they belong to an association they can get up to N100,000 loan which is repayable in six months,” she said.
Earlier in her speech, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Halima A.B Dikko said in consideration of some major challenges faced by women, the state government had put in conscious efforts for their overall development through health, economic and social programmes.