By Abdulwaheed Usamah
As part of measure addressing level of poverty in Nigeria, the Federal Government (FG) and Bank of Industry (BoI) have launched an empowerment program, solely designed to assist petty traders boot their businesses, with aim to ensure two million Nigerians directly benefit from the initiative.
Specifically, representatives of both FG and BoI said that the initiative, tagged ‘Traders Moni’, was created to support traders and also address issued non accessibility of average Nigerians to load.
They disclosed that no fewer than hundreds of traders, particularly market women, received N10,000 loan respectively, in Lagos State, where it had kicked off and that it would soon spread across the country in due time.
The Executive Director, Bank of Industry, Toyin Adeniji, indicated that the launched initiative was a demonstration that the bank was not relenting on measure that would make Nigerians have access to loan irrespective of status or level of education.
Briefing journalists at unveiling of ‘Trader Moni’ initiative at Ojuwoye market in Mushin, Lagos on Tuesday, Adeniji said that the programme which kicked off nationwide, would support 2 million Nigerians to grow their business.
She informed that the goal of the scheme was to take financial inclusion down to the grass root whereby pure water seller, bead seller, food seller, okada rider among others can access loan to expand their business without any collateral.
The bank’s head claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari led administration recognised contribution of petty traders to economic development and that presidency had concluded to ensure market people enjoy dividend of democracy since it knew they may lack requirements for bank loans.
“The government identified the fact that some of them may not have what the commercial banks may required to grant loan, so he support this initiative to help them grow their business”.
“This ‘Trader Moni’ initiative is a mobile phone driven, after your details have been captured by agent and send to BOI system for validation, within 48 hours you will get cash notification in your mobile wallet account. You can either transfer the cash to your bank account or cash it out in any mobile money agent around.
“At the beginning you can access N10,000 and pay back N10,250 to qualified for N15,000. Once you payback N15,375 you will qualify for N20,000 loan, when you pay back N21,000 you will get N50,000. All these stages have duration of six months interval to pay back.”
“If you wish you can pay back before six month grace elapsed and access bigger loan. To pay back, just entered some of the backs we have partnered with such as Fidelity, Wema Bank, Gt Bank, UBA, Heritage Bank, Stanbic Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank Jaiz Bank, tell them that you want to pay BOI-GEEP loan for PayDirect.
Besides, Chief Operating Officer, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, Uzoma Nwagba, noted that GEEP has three product, including that of ‘farmer Moni’, meant for farmers which avail them opportunity to access up to N300,000 loan each.
“We have ‘Market Moni’ which target market women, traders and artisans that are little bigger and more structured, they get between N50,000 and N100,000. The whole initiative is available across the country.
Nwagba urged beneficiaries to ensure they pay back to avail other opportunity to benefit, “All this initiative aimed to expand financial inclusion because we have over 23 million Nigerians that are financially excluded, this administration aimed to reach them so that they can grow their businesses.