The Federal Government on Monday launched the special enterprise and empowerment programme otherwise known as TraderMoni in three additional markets in Lagos, with an assurance that the scheme would be extended to two million beneficiaries by December 2018 across the country.
The TraderMoni scheme, which is a collateral and interest-free loan for petty traders, had earlier been launched in some markets in Lagos, while three additional markets in the State – Ketu, Bariga and Oshodi were added to the scheme by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), accompanied by Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate in the State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The trio, while inspecting the implementation of the scheme, took time to interact with petty traders in the markets, assuring that government would continue to come up with innovative initiatives to benefit the critical mass of the population.
Giving details, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, said close to 800,000 petty traders had so far benefited from the scheme, adding that the programme had been structured for traders to borrow up to N50,000 and repay back seamlessly.
“The TraderMoni scheme is part of the socio-investment programme of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the plan is to ensure that between September and December this year, two million petty traders receive the first payment of N10,000. Once they are able to return it within six months, they get additional N15,000 and when they return that, they get another N20,000 until they get as much as N50,000.
“The whole idea is that the President wants to ensure that traders that are at the bottom of the ladder; people whose wares and businesses are just about N3000, N5000 and so on; people who normally don’t get any kind of financial assistance; people that the banks do not give any kind of credit because they have no collateral are not left out in what they are doing in our micro-credit scheme.
“This was what informed the TraderMoni Programme and today, it has gone to several states and the Vice President is in Lagos today to see what is happening in three additional markets. The VP is here to see what is happening and to interact with the traders, as well as to assure all Nigerians as a matter of fact that this is going to go round,” Akande said.
He added that at the end of the first batch, the government would take it further to ensure that more traders benefit from the scheme.
“In the first batch of the scheme, we will be doing two million traders and after that, we will even take it further. Between now and December, we would have given to two million petty traders. Already, we have close to 800,000 petty traders out of the two million. We have enumerated all the two million traders and so we know who they are and so it is a question of time,” he said.