Nigerian traders set to access government’s empowerment funds

The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) says it is ready to access the N140 billion Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) fund.

Mr Ken Ukaoha, the President of NANTS who spoke with reporters  in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the fund was meant for traders, artisans, market men and women.

The Federal Government rolled out a facility meant for traders, artisans and market men and women, and it is called the GEEP under the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP).

It is being implemented by Bank of Industry (BOI).N140 billion was projected by the Federal Government for this and it is on-going in many of the states.

“One of the things that we have done is to screen the potential beneficiaries and we had to engage with some banks to train potential beneficiaries essentially those who are our market coordinators so that they do not see it as a national cake.”

“We want to train  people, build their capacity on how to utilise these funds effectively, how to ensure they have records, booking keeping and financial management and also how they can be able to do a financial evaluation every month.’’

Ukoha said that association choose Access and Fidelity banks based on their track record in assisting the association’s members, adding that the third bank is being worked on.

He said the association would guarantee members to access the interest free six-month tenure loan.

Ukaoha said beneficiaries would be given between N10,000 to N100,000 and were required to pay N4,000 weekly after a two weeks grace.

NAN/ Ime N