The federal government has issued “no interest” loans to 23,400 beneficiaries in 13 states and the federal capital territory.

Laolu Akande, spokesperson to the vice president, made this known in a statement on Monday.

Akande said the scheme was under the enterprise and empowerment programme of the government.

The loans, which ranged from N10,000 to N100,000 per applicant, he said, would be paid directly to the beneficiaries, who must belong to registered associations or co-operatives.

Akande noted that this was “to ensure that they are peer-endorsed as credible”.

Besides the FCT, other benefiting states are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and Rivers.

He disclosed that over one million people had enrolled for the micro-credit scheme across the nation and added that they would all benefit this year.

He said 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.”

Akande further disclosed that “the actual feeding of pupils is expected to commence this week in Ogun and Oyo States; while Ebonyi State will soon follow suit.”

The vice president’s aide also denied reports of food rationing in states where the home-grown school feeding programme had kicked off.

“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,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari in Berlin

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