TraderMoni: FG Shares N12bn To Boost Petty Traders
The Executive Director, Micro Enterprises, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, has disclosed that total sum of N12 billion had been disbursed to traders across the country under the federal government’s TraderMoni initiative.
She added that the scheme had also assisted 1.2 million small businesses.
Speaking during an interactive session with journalists over the weekend, she said the loan disbursement was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to empower over two million petty traders across the country.
Each state of the federation is expected to have a mini- mum of 30,000 beneficiaries under the programme.
The scheme, which is being implemented by BoI allows each beneficiary to get an interest free loan of between N10,000 to N15,000.
Adeniji, however, insisted that the initiative is not a vote-buying strategy by Buhari administration to woo the sympathy of beneficiaries ahead of the 2019 general election.
According to her, there was no way the programme could have been set up primarily to secure votes as alleged in some quarters as it represented one of the components of the federal government’s Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which commenced in 2016.
She said: “Trader-Moni is a microcredit loan for petty traders designed to meet the need of the larger population of Nigerian micro-enterprises who do not meet the more stringent starting requirements of BVN, bank accounts.
“Qualified petty traders start at N10,000, they progress to N15,000, N20,000, N50,000 and then N100,000. As they pay back the preceding amount, they automatically qualify for the next loan. Over 1.2 million petty traders have benefitted till date and we have disbursed about N12 billion.”
She said the need to come up with the GEEP initiative was borne out of the realisation that out of all bank loans given in the last five years in the country, less than one per cent had gone for small scale business owners.
According to her: “GEEP has two primary goals, access to finance and financial inclusion. We need to provide capital to these groups in a highly methodical manner. This is access to finance.
“GEEP results to date have been encouraging. Since launching the programme, we have provided these loans to over 1.5 million Nigerians in over 2,600 markets and clusters across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory with over 4,000 agents.
“About 53 per cent of our beneficiaries on the GEEP programme are female and 46 per cent of our beneficiaries are below the age of 35.”
She added: “GEEP leverages on a private-sector-driven agent network that is spread across the 36 states to enumerate beneficiaries.
“Agents are prohibited from requesting for any information not listed in the criteria for each facility. Under no circumstance us a Permanent Voters Card or any political consideration.”
Nonetheless, she pointed out that there had been an impressive compliance rate by beneficiaries.
Adeniji said: “We have seen a high uptake in repayments since we commenced a push and provided a wide array of options as our beneficiaries want to stay on the journey to higher loans by repaying