What TraderMoni has done for us – Beneficiaries
Abubakar Zaki stood beside his makeshift tomato shop at the Utako market, Abuja, beckoning to prospective buyers to patronise him. When, one of our reporters stopped over, his face beamed with smile, thinking a customer had arrived.
But instead, he was jolted with a question after initial greetings; “Did you get Tradermoni amount from government?”
His response was sharp. “I got the petty Tradermoni. I used it to buy more tomatoes and pepper which I am selling. This one they gave me has helped me very well. But if they give me something like N50,000 my shop will be very big. This one they gave is not enough but I will manage it. I hope to pay back but I don’t know how to pay back yet,” Zaki said.
Beside Zaki’s shop was Isa Musa who had yam and onions displayed for sale. Musa said he also got the N10, 000 being disbursed by the federal government under the Tradermoni credit scheme.
“I thank God I got the N10,000. I used it to buy more things for my business. I want another one again, any amount they can give me, I would like it. However, many people did not get it and I want more people to get it since they say it is to help small traders like us,” Musa said.
Salisu Shehu, one of the petty traders at the market, said he registered to get the money but had not received the alert yet.
“I want the government to give me the money too,” he said.
A meat seller at Nyanya Market, Mallam Salisu Ibrahim, said he also registered for the scheme but was yet to get the money.
He said the N10, 000 would likely have little impact considering that the naira has low purchasing power.
He added that the amount would be barely enough to buy a goat, let alone a cow to be slaughtered for sale. However, he said the money would go a long way in assisting him to increase the quantity of meat he sells every day.
On repayment, he said every trader who is serious with his business would not have problem repaying.
A foodstuff seller, Grace Olofu, told Daily Trust that the money would help her buy more goods to sell.
She said sometimes she bought her goods on credit but with the loan, she would be able to pay cash, at least for goods not more than N10,000.
“I will be saving money every day in a different place to payback. You know it is government money, if you don’t pay back they will come and arrest you. I don’t want that,” she said.
The federal government recently launched the micro credit scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the country as part of efforts to reinvigorate the economy.
Launching the programme at the Utako Market in Abuja, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the programme targets two million petty traders nationwide for an interestfree N10, 000 for each trader with repayment tenure of three to six months.
He said upon repayment, traders could get additional loans of N15, 000 to N20, 000 each as the loan is given at an incremental pace.
He said the targets are only petty traders and not big shop and business owners and empower the people.
Speaking at the Nyanya Market, the Bank of Industry’s (BOI) Executive Director in charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Toyin Adeniyi, said N20 billion would be disbursed to petty traders across the states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Adeniyi said the bank targets at least 30, 000 traders in each state of the federation for the N10, 000 loan.
“What we are doing here today is to come and create market awareness, to share with them the features of the programme and to encourage them to embrace the loan and teach them the modalities of how to pay back. If they pay pack, they get another loan,” she said.
She said the possibility of the traders not repaying the loans was low as traders in markets mean business.
“These are petty traders. They are doing these businesses for survival. If you look around you, people are here for their daily survival. It’s not luxury for them. I feel the question of if they will pay back is not something to worry about,” she said.
She said the government was already receiving testimonials on the loans and it is a success story.
“It has helped them to expand the value of the products on their table top. For some people, instead of buying products on credit, they now pay cash,” she said.
She said the scheme is not a BOI project, but that of the federal government only being executed by the bank.
“We are only here to supervise, after this phase, we will go ahead to ask beneficiaries to open accounts with the banks, and get their PVCs before we start further disbursement,” she said.