FG to empower 2m traders with collateral-free loans

The federal government has launched a new initiative to empower two million petty traders between now and the end of 2018.

The new initiative called Trader Moni was launched under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).

According to a statement issued by Laolu Akande, spokesman to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the micro credit scheme would grant a minimum of 30,000 loans to petty traders in each state and the federal capital territory (FCT).

“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,” the statement read.

“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.”

The Trader Moni scheme was designed to help petty traders expand their trade through the provision of collateral-free loans of at least N10,000 which would be repayable within a six-month period.

According to the statement, beneficiaries can get access to a higher loan facilities ranging from N15,000 to N50,000 if they repay within the six-month loan term.

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.

Akande said the scheme which 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.