This product involves loans starting at N10,000, and they are for petty traders for whom MarketMoni and FarmerMoni are too large
When the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration launched MarketMoni, a loan scheme targeted at traders who hold BVNs and are registered with market associations, under its Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), a cluster under the Social Investment Programmes, the feedback from beneficiaries was overwhelmingly positive.
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Busola Akilapa, a frozen food business owner, said: “MarketMoni helped my frozen food business. I collected a loan of N100,000 and it boosted my business inabigway.IpaiduptheloanandIgot congratulated by Bank of Industry.”
Another beneficiary, Ramot Odunuga, said: “MarketMoni loan helped me to build my refreshment business. My business has become so big. I am so grateful.”
While for Margaret Jakpovi, the Market-Moni loan helped her employ more people, which allowed her cleaning business to compete for bigger jobs.
With 350,000 MarketMoni beneficiaries spread across Nigeria and disbursement of N15,183,278,000 with 4,632 associations benefitting, MarketMoni is helping improve the business landscape for small and medium scale business owners.
However, large numbers of petty traders and artisans were unable to access the loan as many were unbanked and did not belong to collectives. Not turning a deaf ear to the plight of these hardworking Nigerians running micro-businesses, the Federal Government returned to the drawing board and launched TraderMoni with an ambitious target of empowering 2 million micro-business owners before the end of 2018.
Speaking at the launch of the scheme in Central Market, Kaduna, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, called on the traders and artisans to avail themselves of the scheme and grow their businesses. He added that government through Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) had already disbursed loans of N100,000 to N120,000 to the bigger traders through MarketMoni. He, therefore, urged the eligible petty traders and artisans to register for the scheme because “this government is committed to ensuring that those selling in the market get the money.”
Under TraderMoni, a minimum of 30,000 loans will be disbursed in each state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. States with larger populations like Lagos and Kano are expected to get up to 50,000 loans.
According to Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, executive director, Bank of Industry (BoI), “TraderMoni was conceived in May 2016. It is a part of the two-year-old GEEP, which is a social intervention scheme of the Federal Government, being executed by BOI. GEEP has been providing interest-free loans to traders and artisans across all 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT since May 17, 2016. It has three products, and these are GEEP MarketMoni, GEEP FarmerMoni and GEEP TraderMoni.
“TraderMoni was only first publicly activated on August 7 in five markets in Lagos State, with beneficiaries in Mushin, Ikotun, Agege, Ketu, and Abule-Egba markets in the state. This product involves loans starting at N10,000, and they are for petty traders for whom MarketMoni and FarmerMoni are too large, and for whom the bank account and BVN requirements have been barriers. Once they repay the loan, beneficiaries qualify for higher sums of N15,000, N20,000, N50,000, and N100,000.”
Unlike traditional loans from commercial banks where collateral, documentation and guarantors are required, TraderMoni does not require such and the entire process is free.
With TraderMoni, petty traders are not required to show or produce any document. All that is needed from them is to show that they are petty traders, hence the enumeration taking place only at the markets and their places of trade.
Leveraging on the penetration of mobile phone technology, petty traders can register and receive their TraderMoni loans on their phones through their money wallet.
In cases where petty traders are unable to access the scheme because they lack mobile phones, one will be provided for them at no cost. Fatima Isiak, a moin-moin seller in Gbagi Market, Ibadan, Oyo State, received a mobile phone courtesy of TraderMoni to enable her register for the scheme. She promised to use the money to expand her business and pay back the loan.
For each of the TraderMoni loans, beneficiaries are expected to repay within six months at any of the partner banks; GTB, UBA, Ecobank, UnionBank, Stanbic IBTC, Sterling, Wema, Fidelity, Heritage and Jaiz. Repayments are also flexible: N430 weekly for six months or N860 weekly in three months.
The long-term vision is for these petty traders and artisans to become financially included, have credit reports and thus, become attractive to the traditional lenders. TraderMoni is committed to helping petty traders and artisans change their level by providing continuous loans to enable them expand their businesses.
TraderMoni is currently being activated in markets across Nigeria and is expected to empower two million petty traders and artisans by the end of the year.
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Nwagba is Chief Operating Officer, GEEP