By Chijioke Okoronkwo
There was jubilation at Utako market, Abuja, on Thursday as the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, inaugurated the TraderMoni scheme.
TraderMoni is a Federal Government’s initiative aimed at providing two million petty traders across the country with collateral-free loans before the end of the year.
The ecstatic traders cheered and hailed as the vice president went from stall to stall having one-on-one conversations with the sellers.
Addressing the crowd, Osinbajo, who spoke partly in Pidgin English, said that with TraderMoni, petty traders would be empowered.
“The small small traders, no be big traders; na small small traders we wan give money; make them able to sell well; have more money to sell.
“We give N10,000; if pay back in six months, then you get N15,000; if you pay back, you get N20,000
“We want to encourage petty traders so that they will have enough money to do their businesses; we have done one before for the bigger traders, that one is Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme(GEEP), N100,000 to 120,000.
“If you do well with the N10,000, N15,000, N20,000, then we can increase it; everyone can benefit from this; the president himself has said he wants to make sure that those who are selling in the market:selling pepper, sugarcane, tomato get the money.
“So, when you are given the money, we urge you to make sure you pay back; there is no interest; you just take it and you pay back in six months; I want all of us to make sure we register so that we can be given the money,” he said.
TraderMoni, which had Lagos, Abia and Kano as its pilots states, would be inaugurated across the country.