In its bid to empower two million traders before the end of the year, the Federal Government of Nigeria launched TraderMoni last Saturday in Kano. The event which took place simultaneously in the popular Sabon Gari and Taurani market respectively saw thousands of traders receive a collateral free loan of N10,000 to support their businesses.
One of the beneficiaries, Hamsa Mustapha who sells the locally prepared eko said she will use the N10,000 loan in buying more corn to be able to sell more. She explained that the money will help her to make more eko to sell which will in turn bring in more money for her business and help to take care of her family. She thanked the Federal Government for TraderMoni.
Similarly, Rabiu Muhammed, a zobo drink seller praised the government for the ease of accessing the loan. According to her, getting loans usually required knowing someone in the bank or having paper qualifications. Without having to leave her station in the market and risk losing sales, a TraderMoni agent captured her details under ten minutes and within a few days, she received the credit alert on her phone.
TraderMoni is a new micro credit facility of the Federal Government of Nigeria under president Muhammadu Buhari, targeted at petty traders, artisans and the youth. The initiative was successfully rolled out earlier this month in Mushin, Ikotun, Agege, Ketu, and Abule Egba markets in Lagos. Unlike traditional loans, TraderMoni only requires its beneficiaries to go through an enumeration exercise. The technologically driven solution empowers traders who mostly operate in the informal sector to receive credit on their mobile phones. TraderMoni breaks down the barriers that unbanked workers face in receiving funds for their trade by removing the need for collateral. With an easy and flexible repayment of N430 every week payable to BOI-GEEP loan account under PayDirect at partner banks, a beneficiary ends up paying N10,250 over a period of six months. After which, they qualify for higher sums of N15,000, N20,000 and N50,000. According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, the Federal Government’s aim for launching TraderMoni was to further enlarge its financial inclusion agenda for all Nigerians regardless of social class and economic status. He said that 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. 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.” During the launch of TraderMoni in Kano, many traders after seeing others who had already been enumerated receiving their N10,000 in cash had their details captured by TraderMoni agents, hopeful that they too will be enumerated and receive the loan in the coming days. Alaba Jolasimi, recharge card seller said the government should be commended for remembering traders like her. She said N10,000 will help her to buy more recharge cards and this will help her to meet up with the weekly repayments of N430. She said such loans will help businesses of a lot of market women.