4,144 vulnerable persons in Imo state benefited from the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, GEEP 2.0 executed by the federal government.

At the formal commencement of the programme, on Saturday in Owerri, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouk said the programme was part of measures by President Muhammadu Buhari to fight poverty and its devastating effects.

The Minister who handed over cheques to some of the beneficiaries said the beneficiaries were carefully selected from the 27 local government areas of Imo State.

According to her, those involved in viable informal productive activities with limited financial requirements that had never had access to loans from the formal financial sector were targeted under the programme.

Hajiya Umar-Farouk explained that three unique products are the Tradermoni loan of N50,000 meant for youths between the ages of eighteen and forty, the Marketmoni loan of N50,000 meant for widows, divorcees and vulnerable women and the Farmermoni loan which ranges between N50,000 and N300,000 meant to encourage peasant farmers in the communities

The Minister stated that bank accounts had been opened for the beneficiaries and Automated Teller Machine Cards handed over to them and are now being enumerated to ensure financial inclusivity of the poor in a sustainable manner.

The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma commended the federal government for the gesture noting that the programme was in line with the efforts of his administration to tackle poverty in the state.

He pleaded for inclusion of more Imo indigenes in the various social investment programmes of the federal government while giving assurance that his administration would expand the number of those currently benefiting from the state interventions.  

Some of the beneficiaries who were elated by the gesture thanked the government for remembering the less privileged and promised to utilize the opportunity to improve their lots.