FG Rolls Out Renewed Hope “MARKET MONI”, To Pull 1.5 Million Market Women Out of Poverty by Supporting Their Small Businesses
… Beneficiaries Express Appreciation For Programme Expansion and Unprecedented Grassroots Spread
Nigeria’s First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, on Wednesday, flagged off the rebranded and targeted expansion Market MONI scheme, which is part of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme GEEP, a cluster under the National social Investment Programme.
As one of the social interventions under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, the Market Moni will be providing zero interest, zero collateral loans to 1.5 million market women in Nigeria beginning with 109 markets in each senatorial district across the Country and Abuja.
Speaking at the flagged-off held at the banquet hall of the presidential villa, Abuja, the First Lady expressed optimism that the rebranded GEEP would unlock unprecedented economic gains for market women.
Senator Tinubu said the transformative impact the micro, enterprises fund will have on the lives of the vulnerable in the society cannot be overemphasized.
She said it would play a crucial role in fostering inclusive growth and providing tangible benefits to those who need it most, especially market women and persons with disability, which will in turn empower the households and reduce the poverty ratio!
She saluted the dexterity, passion, and energy of the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, in tackling poverty and humanitarian challenges in Nigeria within such a short time!
“I commend the Honourable Minister for the good works, which she started so well. May God strengthen you to finish the work successfully.
“By supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises, we empower local entrepreneurs to generate employment, thereby offering a lifeline to those struggling to make ends meet.
” This not only reduces unemployment rates but also enhances the overall well-being of individuals and families. Small-scale businesses provide a platform for economic empowerment of those with limited resources who can become self-reliant entrepreneurs when equipped with skills and a supportive environment.
“It is in this regard the rebranding of the three components of the programme is significant,” the First Lady said.
The rebranding of GEEP with local vernacular, the First Lady said, ” will drums home, especially among the women folk, including traders and farmers, a deeper understanding and actual implementation of the programme in our native languages.
She advised beneficiaries of the interest-free loan to plan wisely exercise financial discipline in managing the fund and invest strategically while being committed to repayment.
Earlier, the Minister For Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, said President Bola Tinubu is in a hurry to change the narrative and pull millions out of poverty.
Edu tasked the Market Women’s Moni beneficiaries with prudence in managing the fund, reminding them that it wasn’t free but would be repaid.
The Minister said that to demonstrate transparency in the scheme, the registration and disbursement of the loan will take place right in the markets.
“We are taking one major market in each of the 109 senatorial districts in the country. We are going to the markets to carry out the intervention. Sensitization with clean up for disbursement.
“The market women will be registered in the market. Their accounts opened in the market. Their cards are given to them in the market. We don’t want them leaving the market and their small stores to go to another location and queue up on the line for hours to get the same service.
“This is taking governance to the people where they work, where they live, where they trade. As soon as they register, the loans of N50,000 without interest or collateral will be given to them. And of course, they will assess it there in the market and use it for their businesses, “the Minister said.
She expressed optimism that the Market Women’s Moni concept will help the microeconomy that will feed into the micro-economy, thereby making Nigeria’s economy better and stronger while pulling millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
Dr.Edu disclosed that the scheme was targeted at 1 .5 million Nigerians “that will benefit in the various stages” She reaffirmed President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s commitment to eradicating poverty in the country and pledged her ministry’s determination to meet the target given to it by the president which is to pull 50 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 42 months.
In her remark, the National Coordinator of NSIPA, Halima Shehu, said the loan would play a supportive role in augmenting and expanding existing petty businesses owned by traders She pledged the commitment of the agency to meet the Ministries target.
A beneficiary of the Market Women’s Money, Mrs Cicilia Illah, was full of praises for President Tinubu, whom she described as “our father.” She said the loan would go a long way in boosting the businesses of market women in Nigeria. “I will never believe that a poor woman like me can enter villa… today I am in Aso Villa sitting with wife of President!
The event was attended by Ministers, National Assembly members, Royal fathers, Diplomatic Corp, Development partners, and other top government functionaries.
Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, (ANIPR)
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity