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Empowering Market Women: FG Allocates N75 Billion Loan Through Iyaloja Fund

October 4, 2023

The Federal Government will advance a non-interest loan of N50,000 each to 1.5 million marketwomen under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme to improve their capital and expand on their businesses, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, said on Tuesday.

According to her, the N75 billion market women fund to be known as the Iyaloja Fund for poor market women traders would be launched on October 17.

The minister who made the announcement in Abuja during an advocacy visit to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the programme would be implemented in three phases with 500,000 persons scheduled to benefit from the first phase.

She said, “We will start right away and will provide the GEEP Programme; we have Iyaloja Funds which is equivalent to Market Women Money. We have the Jaga Funds which is capital fund for trader and Farmers’ Money, which is called the Hugo Fund. The Farmer’s Money will be provided for the poorest of the farmers to enable them go into the next farming season.

“The Iyaloja Fund will be providing for poor market women-traders in the market, helping them to improve on their capital and expand on their businesses. These are non-interest loans given to these persons.”

Edu said the administration of President Bola Tinubu has reiterated its commitment to fighting poverty through the eight-point agenda by announcing a conditional cash transfer of N75,000 in three tranches in support of 15 million households, which translates to 62 million individuals.

She said the Federal Government also has other programmes like grants to vulnerable groups under the NPower, which provides jobs for the unemployed in the community and several other programmes, including the Renewed Hope Shelter where shelter would be provided for the poor and Internally Displaced Persons and refugees.

“This programme is not the one you give contract to people to build houses. The communities will build their houses by themselves. We would just provide the enabling environment. And they are expected to source for everything they will use to build that house locally, including the furniture in the house,” the Minister emphasised.

She sought the support of the Minister of Information for the propagation of the programme, particularly the National Orientation Agency to inform the communities and be involved in the process of the capture of the poorest of the poor on the National Social Register which is currently undergoing verification.

Credit: Punch


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