The empowerment of petty and small-scale market traders by the Federal Government through the TraderMoni and MarketMoni initiatives of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP), continued in Benue state, the food basket of the nation, with a special market activation in two popular markets—Markudi Modern Market and Wurukum Market.
This is in furtherance of the commitment of the Buhari-led administration, to growing the economy by providing interest and collateral free loans to petty traders. On April 18, 2019, Benue state experienced the enumerations of more traders and loan disbursements to previously enumerated ones by the Bank of Industry. Tradermoni is targeted at individual petty traders through loans starting at N10,000 while MarketMoni is aimed at traders who access interest-free-loans from N50,000 through their trading associations.
Since the commencement of the programmes in 2016, there have been success stories of beneficiaries who are paying back their loans and accessing more loans. Worthy of note are the traders who have used the initial N10,000 loans efficiently, successfully repaid the loan and subsequently received the second loan of N15,000.
Across Nigeria, over 30 Billion Naira has been disbursed to over 2 million traders. In Benue state alone, there have been over 40,000 disbursements for TraderMoni and more than 7,000 direct beneficiaries of MarketMoni.
Jennifer Iorfa, a petty trader from Gboko, Benue state makes and sells the local guinea corn milk, kunu and fried yam at a nearby secondary school. When she was enumerated to be a beneficiary, she first received a confirmation text message and subsequently, the TraderMoni cash of N10,000. She started buying ingredients for her business in larger quantities which enabled her sell more. Jennifer has made decent returns to improve the living conditions of her family and repaid her loan of N10,250, inclusive of the N250 administrative charges—from her profits. Immediately after her loan repayment was processed, she received a text message informing her that she has qualified for the next loan stage of N15,000.
“With this N15,000 loan, I will be able to make more kunu, sell more and pay back,” she says smiling.
Agbo Mnena Mercy, a MarketMoni beneficiary who sells grains in Wurukum Market, also heard about it the initiative on radio, and got registered. After receiving her loan, she was able to move from buying grains in measured basins, which costs about N3,000 to buying in bags of up to N15,000 per bag. For Mercy, this marks significant change for her business.
Doris Doosur, a registered Eyowo agent for TraderMoni and state manager for MarketMoni has been engaging directly with the beneficiaries of TraderMoni, and MarketMoni in the state.It has been a wonderful program. These traders have been ignored for too long, and access to loans for them is usually difficult. With access to these government loans, things have significantly improved for them. Most times, when we go to disburse the loans in the markets, you can see their joy.”
Christiana Maraa, sells fairly used clothes popularly called Okrikain the market, and is a MarketMoni beneficiary, which is N50,000 for the first loan access. According to her, after registration, she received a text message notification that her loan was ready. She was overwhelmed with joy and called on more traders to take advantage of the TraderMoni or MarketMoni initiatives to expand their businesses.
Annyon Dooshima, a Marketmoni beneficiary from the nearby High-Level market sells chicken and poultry feeds. With her Marketmoni loan, she increased her poultry size from 50 birds to over 80 birds, and also got more customers patronizing her. Dooshima says she is refunding gradually by paying N2,000 every week.
Ali Mustapha, a representative from the Bank of Industry, the principal partner of the Federal Government on the Social Intervention Programs of TraderMoni and MarketMoni, says the response from beneficiaries has been very positive so far, with more people repaying their loans, and getting access to bigger monies.
With more traders benefitting, they have access to much needed funds to grow their businesses, improve their lives and be better positioned to contribute to economic development