The Federal Government has set aside N1.6 billion for women empowerment programme called the National Women Empowerment Fund, NAWEF, under its Social Investment Intervention Programme known as the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Aisha Alhassan, disclosed this on Tuesday, at a town hall meeting with women groups in Dutse, Jigawa State. She said the programme was being implemented by the ministry in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BoI).
“GEEP is a micro-credit programme for men and women, boys and girls; and out of the GEEP Fund, a sum of N1.6 billion has been set aside exclusively for women. Both NAWEF and GEEP are financial inclusion and microcredit programmes,” she said in a statement.
Alhassan explained that the aims of NAWEF and GEEP were to provide micro-credit facilities for men and women; reduce poverty among rural dwellers and provide skills development, training and business support, especially for women and assist in rebuilding the economies of rural areas through financial inclusion.
The minister noted that the programmes were meant to build strong partnership between the federal and state ministries of women affairs, BoI and development partners.
She added that the partners for the programme are World Bank, African Development Bank, UN Women and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), among others, to provide a solid platform for implementing the programmes.
According to her, there are 13 important features that every beneficiary needed to know about the scheme. “NAWEF is exclusively for women, who engage in production enterprises while GEEP is for both men and women; artisans, farmers, market women or entrepreneurs, who engage in productive enterprise,” she stated.