- The federal government said contrary to speculations, TraderMoni scheme and other social investment programmes still very much in operation
- Laolu Akande, a senior special assistant on media & publicity to the president, said a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state has been achieved since after the elections
- Akande said with repayments, some have started collecting 2nd (improved) loans of N15, 000
The senior special assistant on media & publicity to the president (office of the vice president), Laolu Akande, has reacted to the speculations that TraderMoni scheme is no longer in operation.
The TraderMoni scheme and other GEEP micro-credit products (MarketMoni and FarmerMoni) are components of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme.
Akande said contrary to the speculations in some quarters, the TraderMoni scheme and other care still very much in operation.
The presidential aide disclosed this in a progress report on the GEEP micro-credit products (TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and FarmerMoni).
He said: “So far, a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state has been achieved in majority of the 36 states and FCT since after the national and state polls."
Akande added that "what the implementing agency has been doing since the last phase of disbursements is generating the balance of program funding while ramping up on the states with shortages."
“Consequently, disbursements have continued to happen in the states; for instance, we have had over 28,000 disbursements across 10 states since after the elections. Our priority is ramping up these numbers in the balance of states before we move to phase two of the program after detailed reviews and structural enhancements for larger scale. Under the Next Level agenda, Trader Moni loans will target ten million petty traders, a significant ramp up from the initial target of two million beneficiaries.
The presidential aide said the Ministry for Industry, Trade and Investment is actively involved in the implementation of the scheme, adding “that ministry is, in fact the oversighting Ministry of Bank of Industry, which is the deploying agency. The office of the minister executes the GEEP program via the Bank of Industry.
“The governance structure of GEEP includes the office of the Vice President (National Social Investment Office), The Ministry of Trade and Investment, and the Bank of Industry.”
Speaking on measures adopted to enhance repayments, the presidential aide said GEEP has pioneered innovative solutions to drive repayment compliance.
“Working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), we successfully piloted the concept of the BVN as digital collateral; and we saw repayment go up significantly on the MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans.
“For TraderMoni, beneficiaries can pay back at any commercial bank in the country just like a NEPA or WAEC bill; all they need to provide the bank teller with is their phone number. We also developed and successfully piloted scratch cards as a repayment option for beneficiaries who stay kilometres away from the nearest banks in their community. The cards are loaded the same way Telco recharge cards are loaded, thus requiring no new learning curve.
“This improved repayment received compliance to the extent that in January, the Bank of Industry began second level disbursements - disbursements of N15,000 - to beneficiaries in Lagos, Borno, Ogun and Oyo states for trader who had successfully paid back their first N10,000 loans,” Akande disclosed.
According to him, “GEEP's vision (in the long term) remains to empower the over 30 million MSMEs in Nigeria with interest-free, collateral-free loans.”
The GEEP programme, a component of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme (SIP), started about two years ago.
Under the Trader Moni scheme, an initial N10,000 loan is given to petty traders and once they repay within six months, they can receive a new N15,000 loan and when they repay that they can get another N20,000 loan until they get as much as N100,000.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo dismissed repeated insinuations suggesting the TraderMoni scheme is a form of vote buying.
Osinbajo said this in response to Odilim Enweagbara, an economist and entrepreneur, who insisted the scheme was to curry support from Nigerians for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) towards the 2019 general election.
The vice president noted that the scheme was geared towards empowering over 30 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with interest-free, collateral-free loans.
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