Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has kick-started the distribution of collateral-free loans to small and medium scale traders entrepreneurs under a joint initiative involves the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP)
The Renaissance reports that the financial product tagged ‘TraderMoni’ was launched in Iwo town, Osun State.
Under the initiative, petty traders could access a minimum of N10,000 loan at the first instance and then increase the amount over time.
At the official flag off, the vice president said the TradersMoni programme was part of the government’s social intervention scheme that aims at funding micro business in the country.
He explained that the programme will help boost micro and small scale businesses on one hand, and on the order hand, boast commercial activities across the country.
He noted that the initiative remains unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.
“No government in the history of the country has done such an economic boosting programme. The ruling party, the All Progressives Congress-led Government has done well in the area of people’s welfare.
“The beneficiaries will be given a sum of N10,000 each, which is repayable within six months Beneficiaries who pay back the loan within the stipulated period would qualify for another bigger amount of N15,000 and above.
He stressed that TraderMoni scheme is targeted at petty traders, market women, artisans and small-scale businesses to cater for ultra-micro enterprises.
“The policy of the Federal Government is to support businesses, not a just big business but particularly small, medium-sized businesses and micro businesses. The whole idea is that we want to ensure that we give whatever support to people to assist their businesses and alleviate poverty.
“For instance, if we give you N10,000 and you refund it within six months, then you are qualified to collect N15,000. If you pay back the sum of N15,000 you are qualified to get N20,000.
Vice-President commended President Buhari for giving priority to people’s welfare, stressing the need for the citizens to reciprocate his good work by re-electing him in 2019.
Also speaking at the launch, the Executive Director of BOI, Mrs Toyin Adeniji said no fewer than 30,000 beneficiaries would access the loan in Osun State.
She explained that the beneficiaries of the scheme are in all 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT)
“Our agents have already met the market women at their point of sales to register them, they would get the money and pay it back immediately through Mobile Wallet.
“In fact, many people have started receiving the alert.”
“Under ‘TraderMoni’, traders don’t need any documents or property to collect N10,000 loan from the federal government.”
“They only need to register, get captured and receive the money through their phones. The repayment plan is for six months and beneficiaries would pay a paltry N250 interest on the N10,000 and qualify for a bigger loan thereafter.”
During the launch, one of the beneficiaries, Alhaja Kudirat Hussain, a pepper seller in Iwo town expressed surprise at the loan, saying while she earlier had heard about the ‘TraderMoni’, she did not believe that government would give loans to the illiterates and the downtrodden like pepper sellers.
She remarked that as a market woman who had severally been turned away by banks when she needed to expand her business, the entire initiative remained unbelievable.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo