Saturday, 8 September 2018

N10,000 Given Market Women Is Not For Vote Buying... FG


Our attention has been drawn to allegations on social media regarding the TraderMoni programme, which had its sixth sensitisation event in Osun State during the week.

We believe these statements are not driven by spite, but by a genuine misunderstanding of what TraderMoni is and where it comes from. We would therefore like to use this opportunity to set the records straight.

TraderMoni has been conceived since May 2016. It is part of the 2-year-old Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) scheme of the Federal Government. GEEP, a social intervention programme being executed by the Bank of Industry, has been providing interest-free loans to petty traders and artisans across Nigeria since May 17, 2016.

The GEEP programme, by design, comprises three products:

- GEEP MarketMoni, over 350,000 loans and growing, since May 2016: loans of N50,000 and N100,000, for structured traders and artisans in their market associations and cooperatives. In the past 2 years, the programme has granted loans to over 350,000 Nigerians nationwide. BVN and bank accounts are required.

- GEEP FarmerMoni, up to 5,465 loans and growing, since May 2017: much larger loans of N300,000 each, for structured farmers in their farming cooperatives. BVN and bank accounts are required.

- GEEP TraderMoni, commenced in May 2018: loans starting at N10,000, for petty traders for whom MarketMoni and FarmerMoni are too large, and for whom the bank account and BVN requirements are a barrier. Pay back of the first loan guarantees automatic disbursement of N15,000, and successively N20,000, N50,000, and N100,000.
Candidates are enumerated in their trade clusters by the over 4,000 TraderMoni agents nationwide. They are verified by the Bank of Industry, and loans are disbursed directly to their mobile wallets.

While the TraderMoni commenced in May 2018, the programme was first publicly “activated” on August 7, 2018 in five markets in Lagos State, with tens of thousands of beneficiaries in Mushin, Ikotun, Agege, Ketu, and Abule Egba markets in the state.

Subsequently, there have been similar activations in six States as follows:
- Kano (August 18)
- Abia (August 20)
- Akwa Ibom (August 21)
- Katsina (September 1)
- Osun (September 3)
- Abuja (September 6)

State activation events run on a pre-defined schedule, to cover all 36 states and the FCT. These events provide important opportunities for the Federal Government to monitor execution of the programme in each State. Activation events also enable further public sensitization about the programme, first-hand study of the impact on beneficiaries, and critical learnings for any operational improvements.

The transformative impact of TraderMoni on the lives of our beneficiaries is better experienced than imagined. These are financially vulnerable Nigerians who, up until now, have been relegated as “uninteresting,” “high risk,” and “difficult to understand” by traditional lenders. An opportunity to receive a N10,000 loan and graduate in quick succession to N100,000 is one that has escaped their realm of possibility. They first approach the programme with strong disbelief – until their disbursements happen. With TraderMoni, these Nigerians experience a literal turnaround in their businesses and their lives.

An insinuation that such a programme is a bribe for votes is not only unfair to the Nigerian public. It is moreso demeaning to the hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries who are accessing these loans, paying back, and in the process taking control of their financial futures and their dignity.

The only requirement to be a TraderMoni beneficiary is that you are a Nigerian and a petty trader. As a programme, we have never, and will never, enquire about the political affiliations of a trader. There is no such thing as a paper form, or a “PVC check” in the registration process.

We enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to please join us at these activation events, or just visit any of the major trade clusters in your state to see the TraderMoni programme in action. We are also open to feedback on how to continually strengthen TraderMoni’s impact, our number 1 goal.

Please do not hesitate to email us on tradermoni@geep.ng.

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