As the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) spreads round the country, TraderMoni berthed in Sokoto Friday in the waiting hands of hundreds of joyous petty traders.
Designed by the Federal government to help petty traders access collateral free loans of ten thousand naira to boost their businesses and repayable within six months, beneficiaries of the scheme could also access between N15,000 and N50,000 if they repay the initial N10,000 within the stipulated time.
GEEP is targeted to empower two million petty traders before the end of this year, with a minimum of 30,000 loans in each state and the FCT, while states with larger populations like Lagos and Kano, are expected to get more than 30,000 beneficiaries.
When Bank of Industry, managers of the fund arrived Sokoto old market, beneficiary traders were excited.
Those who had not registered for the scheme rushed to get registered when they heard cheers of those beneficiaries who had received payment alerts.
It was the same experience at the Sokoto central market, where the launch of the quick cash transfer held simultaneously.
One of the beneficiaries at Sokoto Old market, Malam Auwal Umar praised Federal government for the initiative. “I reluctantly registered for the scheme, thinking, it is another political gimmick, but the bank payment alert cleared my doubt. I can confirm that, this is real and I will surely pay back within the agreed six months, since I will be able to benefit higher amount,” he stated.
A vegetable seller, Madam Philomena Obazee also commended government for the loan. “My advice to fellow beneficiaries is that we should invest the money into our business as no bank or cooperative society will give such loan without collateral and interest,” she said.
According to another beneficiary, Sani Maisayi “Trader Moni will make the dream of expanding my business a reality. Where I sell bread and tea, my customers do ask for Indomie and egg, but I have not been able to raise my capital because I use the little profit I make to take care of my family.
“With this ten thousand naira loan, I will be able to expand my business and add sales of Indomie and egg, to take better care of my family and repay the loan within the stipulated time. Maybe, I made need to employ an assistant, depending on the turnout of customers, so that we can meet their demands on time,” he said.
However, Yahaya Dambuwa who was now willing to register for the scheme expressed dismay for not being among the first batch of the loan.
“I had earlier heard the announcement on the radio but, took it for granted. Now that I have seen that it is real, I will register so that I can benefit and pay back the loan,” he said.