By Sunday Okobi

The Executive Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, said the goal of the TradiMoni loan scheme is centrally aimed at taking financial inclusion down to the grassroots as well as empowering small scale trader in the country.

She added that the current administration recognises the contribution of petty traders to economic development.

Adeniji, who stated this at the launch of the scheme in Abuja recently, also noted that the administration, after identifying that most traders may not have what the commercial banks may require in granting them loan, hence, his support for this initiative to help them grow their businesses.

She further noted that the scheme would empower traders in order to expand their businesses and contribute their quotas towards developing the economy.

According to her, “With over 23 million Nigerians financially excluded, the introduction of TraderMoni by the Federal Government in conjunction with Bank of Industry last month could not have come at a better time.

Described by some as the invisible hands that uphold the economy due to their large numbers, petty traders and artisans continue to contribute to Nigeria’s GDP without any credit support from commercial banks.

Understandably, they lack the necessary documentation and collateral needed to qualify for loans. The President MuhammaduBuhari-led administration which has identified closely with the informal sector, leveraging on the penetration of mobile devices across the country introduced TraderMoni to provide collateral free loans of N10, 000.”

It was learnt that beneficiaries of the Tradimoni get N10, 000 as the first loan and qualify for a larger amount of N15, 000 when they pay back the loan.

After payback of the second loan, they qualify for a N20, 000 loan, and then N50, 000, and then N100, 000.

“The scheme is committed to helping petty traders and artisans change their level by providing continuous loans to enable them expand their businesses.

“With over 4,000 enumeration agents working across the country to identify beneficiaries, the scheme is targeted at empowering 2 million businesses before the end of 2018 with a minimum of 30,000 loans earmarked for each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” the bank director noted.

The scheme which has been launched in Lagos, Abia, Kano, Katsina and Osun has been favourably received by market leaders and beneficiaries.

Speaking also at the launch of the scheme, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo called on the traders and artisans to avail themselves of the scheme and grow their business.

He also stated that the scheme is targeted at those at the bottom of the pyramid of micro-businesses.

Osinbajo added that government through Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) had already disbursed loans of N100, 000 to N120, 000 to the bigger traders.

He further urged eligible traders to register for the scheme because “this government is committed to ensuring that those selling in the market get the money.”

Similarly, the Director General, Abia State chapter of National Association of Small and Medium Scale Industrialists, Imo Anasonye, commended the bank and government for helping poor Nigerians with the soft loan project.

He noted with delight the continuity of empowerment traders at different levels are enjoying in the country through the scheme.

According to him, “Last year, the government implemented the first leg of the programme called the Market Moni where it disbursed loans from N50, 000 to N100, 000 per beneficiary. Now, the government has come up with the TradiMoni which is like season two of that engagement programme. I commend the government for coming up with such initiative.”