By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, monitored the Tradermoni scheme in the state, targeted at assisting traders to boost their businesses in the country.
It would be recalled that scope behind the scheme was to ensure that two million petty traders receive N10, 000 and on repayment of their loan, receive 15, 000 and on and on.
Osinbajo, who was also accompanied by All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, visited Ketu, Bariga and Oshodi markets.
In an interview with newsmen after the inspection, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media, Laolu Akande, stressed that the visit to the state was to see the impact of the scheme.
He added that the visit was also to assure the traders not captured among the two million beneficiaries that they would be captured in the next tranches.
“And the visit of the president to Lagos was to see the impact of the scheme and interact with the traders in markets. And he assured them that the fund will be increased to capture more people.
“Our plan is that between now and December, we would have captured the two million traders. Already, we have handed the fund to 800, 000. We have enumerated all the two million and we know who they are.
“That doesn’t mean that this is the end of the programme. Our plan is to achieve the two million before the end of the year and add more people to subsequent tranches,” he added.
The Vice President’s aide stated that the initiative launched under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, in partnership with the Bank of Industry BOI, has assisted 1.1 million Nigerians.
According to him, over 1.1 million Nigerians – market women, traders, artisans, farmers – are currently beneficiaries of GEEP, which comprises FarmerMoni, MarketMoni and TraderMoni.
“There are over 809,000 beneficiaries under TraderMoni while the rest were beneficiaries of FarmerMoni loans and MarketMoni for farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs in the country.”
Earlier, Executive Director, Bank of Industry, Toyin Adeniji, urged beneficiaries to refund the loan within six months.
“It isn’t a national cake. The fund is targeted at empowering the traders. We expect that if they pay back, they are not only helping themselves but also the community.
The Chief Officer of GEEP, Uzoma Nwagba, said there were other products such as the ‘Farmers Moni’, which provides farmers the opportunity to access loans up to N300,000.
He urged beneficiaries to do their best to pay back the loans so that others can get the opportunity to benefit from the programme.