The Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, has called on women in Gombe State to key in to the National Women Empowerment Fund and benefit from the N1.6 billion interest free loan.
The minister gave the advice at the Town Hall meeting on the National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEP) and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programmes (GEEP) in Gombe on Monday.
She said that both NAWEP and GEEP were financial inclusion and micro-credit programmes, aimed at increasing financial access for women with a view to reducing poverty in the country.
“The NAWEF will be piloted in eight states and will target about 10, 000 women beneficiaries per state.
“It will disburse an estimated N200 million per pilot state through active and functional cooperatives, local trade associations and other community-based groups,” she said.
Alhassan said between N10, 000 and N100, 000 could be obtained by each of the beneficiaries as loan repayable in six months .
She said that only five per cent would be charged as administrative expenses by the disbursing bank.
“It is an opportunity that business women and entrepreneurs should embrace and explore maximally as we have never had it so good before.
“There is no doubt that the two schemes will enable women to support their families better and contribute to governments drive to expand and diversify the economy,” she said.
Mr Suzy Iliya, Wife of the Deputy Governor of Gombe State, commended the Federal Government’s initiative in alleviating poverty among the women in the state and the country at large.
She said that the programmes would impact positively on women, especially the rural communities in boosting their businesses.
She also called on women in the state to actively participate in the programme irrespective of their political and religious differences for more success.
Mrs Rabi Daniel, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, promised full support for the minister in enhancing the success of the programmes in the state.
She said that the state government was also making effort to empower women in the state through the wife of the Governor.
According to her, the programmes have come at the right time when many women are in need of capital to start businesses to assist their families and relations.