The Federal Government has pledged its commitment towards reducing poverty among the citizenry.
Speaking at the formal launch of TraderMoni at the Owerri Relief Market, Imo State, at the weekend, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said that TraderMoni is a deliberate policy of the Federal Government to assist small scale businesses in the country to grow as well as to reduce poverty among the people.
The United Kingdom Prime Minister, Theresa May, had last month during a three-day trip to Africa, said Nigeria is home to more poor people than any other nation in the world.
“The TraderMoni, which provides loans of N10,000 to registered beneficiaries is part of the deliberate policy of the Federal Government to assist micro businesses to grow and to reduce the poverty level especially among the people in the rural areas by giving them access to funds to help their businesses,” he said.
Osinbajo also said that the APC-led Federal Government would continue to ensure that the welfare of Nigerians would continue to be its major priority and urged the people to continue to support efforts of government to make the country a better place for all.
Traders in Imo State were excited as “TraderMoni” a Federal Government policy of assisting petty traders in the country, berthed in the state.
This was even as hundreds of excited traders at the Relief Market in the Owerri metropolis filed out to receive the collateral-free loan via cash disbursements or bank transfer from the Bank of Industry (BoI), managers of the fund.
As early as 9:00a.m, Saturday morning, traders at the market, including men and women, had already queued up to receive their loans having been registered the previous day. No less than 4,000 petty traders have been enumerated in Imo State with over a thousand receiving the collateral-free loan of N10,000, which is payable over a six-month period. When paid back, beneficiaries qualify for higher progressive sums of N15,000, N20,000, N50,000 and N100,000.
Meanwhile, some of the traders who spoke at the end of the exercise said they had earlier heard the announcement on radio but that they had thought it was one of those gimmicks of government which never works.
One of the traders who identified herself as Agnes expressed gratitude to the Federal Government as she noted that the process was easy as they registered her right there in the market and did not ask for any documents or certificates.
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“It worked like magic because as soon as I registered and got verified, I got a text message confirming the loan. I provided them with my account number I received an alert of N10,000. It is now I know that it is real.”
Also, Madam Nnenna who equally had her account credited instantly after completing her registration thanked the Federal Government for making the money available to market women, adding that the loan would assist many of them in their petty trade.
Executive Director, BoI, Mrs.Toyin Adeniji, said it is part of the policies of the Federal Government to assist petty traders in the country to grow their businesses and urged the beneficiaries to ensure that they repay the loan within six months to enable them access more loans to grow their businesses.