Nigerian Government on Monday said it will empower two million Nigerians through a financial scheme to grant loans to petty traders.
The scheme called "Trader Moni" launched under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) was designed to help petty traders expand their trade with a collateral-free loan of at least N10,000 which would be repayable within a six-month period.
“All together, the 2 million mark is expected to be attained on or before the end of this year, with petty traders in Lagos, Kano and Abia States set to be the first round of beneficiaries to draw the collateral free loans,” acting president Yemi Osinbajo’s media aide, Laolu Akande said in a statement.
“In addition to the 30,000 loans per state, states with larger populations like Lagos and Kano are expected to get more than 30,000 loans. Across the country, especially in the pilot states about 500,000 potential beneficiaries have so far been enumerated.”
He stated that beneficiaries of the scheme can get access to higher loan facilities ranging from N15,000 to N50,000 if they repay within the six-month loan term.
Akande said the scheme which already kicked off in five markets in Lagos, Mushin, Ikotun, Agege, Ketu and Abule-Egba, has reached tens of thousands of beneficiaries in less than a week.
He added that the microcredit scheme would grant a minimum of 30,000 loans to petty traders in each state and the federal capital territory (FCT).
Trader Moni was launched in partnership with the Bank of Industry in order to enlarge government’s “financial inclusion agenda down to the grassroots, the bottom of the ladder, considering the contribution of petty traders to economic development.