Claim: A WhatsApp broadcast message claims that a no-interest loan is being offered to vulnerable Nigerians by Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) 2.0 through the Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Management in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency.
The GEEP loan offer was announced on the official website of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and also on the official website of the Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Management.
A WhatsApp broadcast message claims that the Government Enterprise and Empower Programme GEEP 2.0 through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Management (FMHADM) in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency NOA is giving out non-interest loans to vulnerable Nigerians across the country.
The widely circulated message outlined the loan’s eligibility and the category of beneficiaries and even gave details of the amount to be offered. However, users who came across the message doubted its validity and asked questions around it, while also requesting that NOA fact-check the claim.
In the past, multiple fake loan and grant offering claims have appeared on the social media spaces, resultantly misleading unsuspecting members of the public into giving out their personal and financial details. As such DUBAWA opts to verify the claim.
Dubawa first inquired with NOA’s Director of Special Duties and State Operations (SDSO), Mrs Mette Edekobi. In a direct response to the claim, she confirmed that the GEEP loan scheme through FMHADSD in collaboration with NOA is truly giving out non-interest loans to the vulnerable in the country as outlined in the claim.
Edekobi confirmed that the GEEP programme is true and authentic and urged the vulnerable and the ‘poorest of the poor’ to make use of this golden opportunity.
In her words, she explains that NOA’s presence in all local governments will aid ‘sensitization, registration, data collection…feedback.’
DUBAWA also noticed that the loan offer was also announced on the GEEP website.
More details: The genesis of the GEEP loan
The Federal Government of Nigeria established the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in 2016, to tackle poverty and hunger across the country. The suite of the programme under the NSIP focuses on ensuring a more fair distribution of resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth and women.
The NSIP programmes is sub- divided into 4 programmes:
- Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP)
- Conditional Cash Transfer CCT programme
- National Home Grown School Feeding NHGSF programme
- N-Power programme
After the creation of the ministry, the GEEP programme was restructured to GEEP 2.0 and part of the change was the newly introduced structure. The rationale for a new structure known as GEEP 2.0 was to have a top-bottom representation at the federal, state and local government levels.
The new structure will appoint civil servants as desk officers at the three levels in order to create a value chain of supervision, institutionalization, coordination and to facilitate the successful implementation of the programme.
WHO is a potential GEEP Beneficiary?
- Most vulnerable citizens in any given community
- Vulnerable women identified as widows or female heads of households.
- The enterprising Youth
- Rural farmers who depend on farming as a source of income and daily means of survival.
- Co-operative groups and associations with common enterprise, values, beliefs and norms.
The role of NOA
In line with its mandate of communicating government’s policies, programmes and activities. The agency is structured into the national headquarters, state directorate and local government areas. The national headquarters is headed by the director-general, state directorates are also headed by directors while the LGAs are headed by the Community Orientation Mobilization Officers (COMOs), fondly called ‘foot soldiers’ of the agency.
At the local government, the GEEP desk will be managed by the NOA local government desk officers. (proposed to partner with NOA-COMO’s) They will register all GEEP activities, associations, and groups within a local community. These desk officers are also expected to report to FMHADSD at the Federal level, the Focal Persons at the State level and work with the Program Managers.
The Claim that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster Management in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency NOA is giving out free interest loans to the vulnerables in the society across the country is true and authentic. The GEEP initiative is genuine and has been in place since 2016.
The fact check was produced per Dubawa 2021 Kwame Karikari Fellowship partnership with National Orientation Agency to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.