By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—VICE President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has said that no fewer than 600,000 Nigerians have so far benefited from the Federal Government’s social intervention scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, for entrepreneurs.
The GEEP micro credit is one of the flagships of the Federal Government’s social intervention programmes that enables entrepreneurs have access to affordable credits to fund their businesses, especially in rural areas.
Under the programme, beneficiaries receive grants between N50,000 and N100,000 payable within six months and does not attract any interest, except five per cent administrative charge.
According to Osinbajo, who was in Onitsha yesterday to launch the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, clinic for Anambra State, the programme was targeted at women, artisans, small holder farmers and enterprising youths.
The vice president also explained that over 11,039 young graduates were to benefit from the second phase of the N-Power programme of the federal government, adding that government had gone further to refine the programme such that it would not just be monthly stipend for the entrepreneurs, but to make them independent and self reliant.
He described Anambra State as a leading manufacturing giant and home of commerce, with Onitsha and Nnewi as the industrial hubs not only for the state economy, but for the country and commended Governor Willie Obiano for creating the enabling environment for businesses and investments to thrive, assuring the Federal Government’s sustained support
He said: “Anambra is well recognized as an industrial center and the state has carved a niche as an industrial and commercial hub of Nigeria and the federal government is committed to working with the state to attract more investments.”
“The MSME is one of such investments where we will cooperate with the state because it contributes significantly to the growth of the national economy and also contributes to over 50% of the nation’s workforce.”
According to him, the federal government was for all Nigerians, assuring that it would continue to work with all states, including Anambra where, he observed, the state government had been developing with time
He advised that since the SMSEs had the opportunity of benefitting from the regulatory agencies, there was need to establish a one stop shop in the state where the SMSEs and the , including the Bank of Industry, would operate from one point.
The VP regretted the neglect of the SMEs by past administrations despite their enormous contributions, pledging government’s assistance through easy access to funds and reduced cost in registration and other facilities.