The Federal Government, on Monday announced the disbursement of a ‘no-interest loan’ to 23,400 beneficiaries in 13 states including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Disclosing this in a statement, the spokesperson to the acting President, Laolu Akande, said the scheme was under the enterprise and empowerment programme of the Federal Government.
The acting President’s aide revealed that the loans which ranged from N10,000 to N100,000 per applicant would be paid directly to the beneficiaries.
Stressing that beneficiaries must belong to registered associations or co-operatives, Akande said this was “to ensure that they are peer-endorsed as credible.”
He said over one million people had enrolled for the micro-credit scheme across the nation and added that they would all benefit this year.
According to Akande, the “no-interest” micro-credit scheme, with “only a one-time five percent administrative fee is targeted at traders, artisans, market men and women, entrepreneurs and farmers.”
He added that “the actual feeding of pupils is expected to commence this week in Ogun and Oyo States; while Ebonyi State will soon follow suit.”
Akande dismissed reports of food rationing in states where the home-grown school feeding programme had kicked off.
He said,“While the federal government has paid all approved cooks based on the number of pupils allocated to each cook, it’s the states that provide the number of pupils to be fed.
And where those figures change, the next batch of FG payment would reflect it. Specifically, where the number of pupils increases, the states will communicate the increase and approve the review.
“The numbers of the new pupils are then physically verified before a commensurate number of cooks are engaged, trained and then paid. The FG has also adopted a system where it pays the cooks a 10-day advance payment for feeding. The programme is designed to ensure that no cook feeds more than 150 pupils a day, but in some cases, the numbers are as low as 35 pupils a day.”