By Abbas Bamalli
The Federal Government began the disbursement of N130 million grant to 6,511 vulnerable persons in the 34 local government areas of Katsina State on Thursday.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, flagged off the disbursement.
She said beneficiaries were selected through the Grant for Vulnerable Groups (GVG) programme of the Federal Government.
“GVG was first introduced in 2020 as Grant for Rural Women to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Muhammad Buhari’s administration for the poor and the vulnerable.
“The project is consistent with the president’s agenda of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“GVG provides a one-off grant of N20,000 to some of the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians, especially in the rural and semi-urban areas in the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT.
“This is to empower beneficiaries to improve their productivity and grow their commercial activities to ease them out of poverty,’’ she said.
The minister stressed that Katsina State’s grant is one of the highest in the country taking into account the impact of insurgency, banditry and the large number of Internally-Displaced Persons in the state.
“The president directed that 70 per cent of beneficiaries must be women, while the remaining 30 must be youths.
“He also directed that a minimum of 15 per cent of the beneficiaries must be citizens with special needs, including Persons with Disability and senior citizens.
“It is expected that beneficiaries will use the grant judiciously to improve their productivity, create wealth, generate employment and improve their standards of living,’’ the minister said.
Umar-Farouq said she was also in Katsina State for the roll out of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0).
“The programme is designed to create more opportunities and loans for the poor, the vulnerable and low-income Nigerians involved in viable informal productive activities with limited financial requirements.
“It gives priority to the most vulnerable, especially widows, youths, persons with disabilities and the displaced.
“GEEP has three unique products: `TraderMoni loan’, `MarketMoni loan’ and `FarmerMoni loan.
“TraderMoni loan is N50,000 and is targeted at uplifting under-privileged and marginalised youths between the ages of 18 years and 40 years.
“MarketMoni loan, also of N50,000 targets under-privileged and marginalised women, especially widows and divorcees, among other vulnerable groups.
“FarmerMoni loan ranges between N50,000 and N300,000 and is designed for small-scale farmers to improve their productivity and to graduate into commercial agriculture,’’ she said.
She added that 353,316 beneficiaries were targeted to benefit in the first phase of GEEP implementation nationwide.
“So far 1,142,783 potential beneficiaries have been registered for the programme in the 774 local government areas of the federation.
“In Katsina State alone, 59,161 potential beneficiaries were registered out of whom 13,000 have been verified to benefit,’’ Umar-Farouq said. (NAN)