Tradermoni Beneficiaries In The North West Share Testimonies

TraderMoni Beneficiaries in the North West share testimonies

It was just a regular day – another business-as-usual one, for 28-year-old Suleiman Sanni, a basket seller in the popular Kasuwar Yankaba in Nasarawa LGA of Kano state, North West, Nigeria. Little did he know right there in the market, even without a formal bank account to his name, he’d become a beneficiary of a government micro loan to support his small business. That day he got registered and on the following day, Sanni received a non-collateral loan of N10,000 to support his small-scale business whose total capital at the time was estimated around N5,000.

Suleiman would need a formal bank account and collateral in order to access a loan from a regular commercial bank in any part of the country. His story is just one of over two million petty traders across the country who have become beneficiaries of the government scheme. This is the success story that GEEP has become today.

It was in 2017, when the President Buhari’s administration launched the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), as one of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under the Office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and executed in partnership with the Bank of Industry. TraderMoni is perhaps the most popular of the three schemes under GEEP including MarketMoni and FarmerMoni, and has so far reached over two million petty traders and small business owners in Nigeria.

In a remarkably short period, GEEP’s impact has been felt across the country but even more significant is its impact in the North West, a geopolitical zone with relatively low access to financial inclusion. The ‘no-barrier’ access to the TraderMoni loan ensured that tens of thousands became beneficiaries of the government loan. All they needed were just a working mobile phone and a verifiable business.

In a media chat with journalists, the Executive Director, Micro Enterprises, Bank of Industry, Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, said, “Trader-Moni is a microcredit loan for petty traders designed to meet the need of the larger population of Nigerian micro-enterprises that do not meet the more stringent starting requirements of the bank verification number and bank accounts.

According to her, “Qualified petty traders start at N10, 000, they progress to N15, 000, N20, 000, N50, 000 and then N100, 000. And as they pay back the preceding amount, they automatically qualify for the next loan.”

The loan repayment period is 6 months but records have it that many have repaid their first loan before the expiration tenure.

A GEEP Activation team travelled round the zone in 2018 ensuring every state was reached. From Kano to Kaduna, to Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Jigawa, visiting local markets in each of the state to enumerate and disburse the loans to traders.

The stories and testimonials were largely the same for the beneficiaries of the loan – they have been given an opportunity to expand their business – and ultimately, enhance their living conditions. And for many of them, it was the first time benefiting directly from a government scheme of such.

For most traders interviewed, the ease of access to the loans, non-discrimination of beneficiaries and convenient repayment plans were major attractions to them in contrast to the many hurdles of getting commercial bank loans.

Aisha Umaru, a roadside trader in local foods like kulikuli and mai in Gusau Central Market and 22-year-old Aliyu Umar Kwaruru, who sells local groundnut in a wheelbarrow in Kebbi Central Market are grateful for this intervention. For them, it was a good stepping stone to gradually scale their petty businesses.

According to Suleiman Sanni mentioned earlier in this article, “I came into the market a bit late and saw the TraderMoni people registering small businesses, and I was privileged to be part of those registered. It is indeed a blessing and I am grateful because this money will in-crease my business capital a great deal. Rather than buying fifty baskets, I can now afford to buy a hundred.”

Image: Suleiman Sanni, a basket seller and TraderMoni beneficiary in Kano state.

In Sheikh Abubakar Gumi (Central) Market, Kaduna, another beneficiary, Sefiani who sells onions from a wheel barrow said, all he wanted to do with the loan was to get a small roadside kiosk for his business and stop using wheelbarrow. He believed the N10,000 loan will help him increase profit which he can save to up to actualize his goal of renting a kiosk.

Many would easily dismiss what impact N10,000 could have a trader in present day Nigeria but the stories were different for many beneficiaries of TraderMoni. In Gusau Central Market, a beneficiary, Mogbelade Jejeniwa sells small plastic products and local food stuffs. For her, the loan is a significant addition to her business which will aid her growth and expansion. And for many like Mogbelade, N10,000 loan without a collateral is a good stepping stone to gradually scale their petty businesses.

Image: Mogbelade Jejeniwa, a beneficiary of TraderMoni in Zamfara state.

In Central Market, Katsina, another beneficiary is Martina James, a widow who has been struggling to make ends meet along with her aged mother. She sells foodstuffs from a roadside shed and said she wanted to do with the loan was to add it to her business capital to buy and pay for the produce she sells rather getting them on credit which is how she had been getting by. She said it’d be easier for her to make more profit that way. A visibly happy Martina promised to pay up her loan as fast she can in other to access more loan from the government.

Image: Martina James, a TraderMoni Beneficiary in Katsina Central Market.

To validate the scheme’s extensive reach across the country, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said during one of his visits to the markets, “The Trader Moni scheme is one of the Government, Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) micro-credit products.

“MarketMoni and FarmerMoni are still very much in operation. We have a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state, and we have achieved this in majority of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”

The immediate impact of the scheme was for small business owners to grow their businesses but the larger success of GEEP is deepening access to financial inclusion in the North Western region with many beneficiaries having to open a formal bank accounts as one of the requirements to qualify for the phase two of the loans.

With the increasing access to the loans, government is creating a more enabling environment for the growth of small-scale businesses and reduction in the overall poverty rate.

Did You Know?

GEEP has impacted over 2 million small and micro businesses.

Over 56% of beneficiaries are female.

Professions: Artisans, petty traders, farmers and market women.

Over 2600 markets have been activated across the 774 LGAs in the 36 states and the F.C.T.

GEEP has worked with 7000 market cooperatives, farming clusters and field agents

http://www.alexreports.info/2019/07/tradermoni-beneficiaries-in-north-west.html?m=1

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