Zamfara Traders Commend FG Trader Moni Scheme
By Chris Suleiman
Hundreds of traders in Gusau, Zamfara state,who have been anxiously waiting for the berth of ‘Trader Moni’, could not hide their joy, as the programme was launched in the state on Wednesday.
The scheme was designed by the federal government to help petty traders access collateral free loans of ten thousand naira to boost their businesses and repayable within six months. Beneficiaries can also access a higher loan from fifteen thousand to fifty thousand, when they repay the initial ten thousand within the stipulated time.
The initiative tagged, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, is targeted to empower two million petty traders before the end of this year, with a minimum of 30,000 loans in each state and the FCT, while states with larger populations like Lagos and Kano, are expected to get more than 30,000 beneficiaries.
Those at Tudun Wada market, within the state capital, who are beneficiaries of the quick cash transfer from the Bank of Industry, managers of the fund, were full of excitement.
The crowd of those who never registered for the scheme at Tudun Wada market on hearing the cheering news that beneficiaries had started receiving payment alert, was nearly uncontrollable as they pushed, shoved and struggled to get registered.
The same scenario also played out at the Gusau old market, where the quick cash transfer launch held simultaneously.
Malam Sani Ahmed, a trader and beneficiary at Tudun Wada market who spoke in Hausa language, was full of praises for the federal government initiative.
He said, “before, I don’t participate in any government poverty alleviation programme because I don’t believe in them, even this, I have a lot of doubt in my mind until I received the payment alert.
“I sell fairly used clothes, (Okrika), this ten thousand will really boost my business and I will surely pay back the loan before the six month.”
Another trader, Yakubu Danladi, who sell groundnut and palm oil said, “I thank the federal government for this loan, specifically to petty traders, as I could not have gotten such loan from bank because I don’t have collateral.”
Hajiya Asmau Yinusa, a widow and mother of three, who sell bean cake, was enveloped with emotions.
According to her, “I cannot remember when last I handled five thousand naira because all my business is not worth more than three thousand naira.
“With this ten thousand naira loan, I will be able to expand my business and add sales of kunun,
to boost my income, take better care of my children and repay the loan within the stipulated time.”
56-year old Hajiya Rakiya Shuaibu, who sells vegetable said, when the payment dropped on her phone, it was too sweet to believe.
“When I got the ten thousand alert, I checked and double-check, to be sure that it was true. I could not keep the excitement to myself.
“The news however, was a bad news to my neighbours who never believe or register for the loan
With tone of regret, Amoka Osita, a trader at Tudun Wada market, rued the opportunity of the federal government collateral free loan to boost his petty trade.
Osita, who was among the near uncontrollable enthusiast willing to register said, “I had earlier heard the announcement on the radio but, thought it was one of those political gimmicks for election.
“Now that I have seen that it is real, I will endeavour to register and repay the loan accordingly.”