From Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
The Federal Government says it has disbursed TraderMoni to the tune of N12 billion to over 1.5 million Nigerians in over 2,600 markets and clusters across the 36 states and the FCT and working with over 4,000 agents.
During an interactive session with members of the press over the weekend in Abuja, the Executive Director, Micro Enterprise, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, said about 53 per cent of the beneficiaries on the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) are female while 46 per cent of the beneficiaries are below the age of 35 years.
She disclosed that GEEP has evolved into three products, marketmoni, farmermoni and tradermoni.
According to the Executive Director, all GEEP loans are interest-free while there are no stringent collateral requirements. She stated that beneficiaries are supported to open bank accounts or mobile wallets as a requirement for the loans and repayments are spread over six months.
Commenting on the functionality of the GEEP products, Adeniji explained that marketmoni is a loan of between N50,000 and N300,000 for the upper and micro enterprise, traders, market women, youths and artisans.
She added that possession of a BVN and membership of a certified market association or cooperative are required to access marketmoni loans, while the cooperative societies help to ensure that the loans are repaid. Currently, over 350,000 small businesses have accessed marketmoni loans since 2016, she said.
On GEEPs second product, farmermoni, she said it starts at N300,000 and are for farmers in farming clusters through farm aggregators. A BVN farming cluster cooperative cluster aggregator and end to end process up to off-take agreements are required for farmermoni.
The loans are disbursed, according to her, to the farmers’ bank accounts, while the aggregator regulates the use of funds to ensure input, fertilizers and farming best practices are provided, adding that 5,000 farmers have benefitted since 2016.
She further disclosed that GEEPs’ third product, tradermoni, is a microcredit loan for petty traders, which is designed to meet the need of the larger population of Nigerian micro-enterprises who cannot meet the more stringent starting requirements of BVN, bank accounts, market associations and co-operatives required for bigger marketmoni loans.
Qualified petty traders start at N10,000 disbursed to wallets on their mobile phones. They progress to N15,000, N20,000, N50000 and N100,000. As they pay back the preceding loan, they automatically qualify for the next loan value. She explained that over 1.2 million petty traders have benefitted till date.