El-Rufai approves N200m for women’s empowerment, says commissioner

Gov. Nasir el-Rufai has approved N200m fund for the Kaduna State Women Empowered Programme (KADSWEP) to support women at the grassroots in their entrepreneurial activities.

Hajiya Hafsat Baba, Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Kaduna State, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.

Baba said that the programme, established in 2017, was specifically designed to improve financial inclusion and provide women access to low-interest loans to begin new or expand existing business.

She explained that the ministry was working on the guidelines and modalities for the disbursement of the money to new beneficiaries.

The commissioner added that the state was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to deepen financial inclusion among women, adding that about 14,000 women have recently opened bank accounts.

According to her, the women will be thoroughly screened to ensure that only new beneficiaries access the money.

“We will use Bank Verification Number to screen existing beneficiaries out so that others can benefit,” she said.

The commissioner said that over 7,000 women benefited from the programme in 2019, noting that individual received N20,000 while association of 10 members got N200,000.

She said that while others have paid back, the ministry was working with the remaining beneficiaries to pay back the soft loan to provide opportunity for others to benefit

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