The Presidency has dispelled speculations that the TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni have been brought to an end following the conclusion of the 2019 general election.
The schemes are under the Nigerian government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, GEEP, component of the Social Investment Programme.
”The programmes are still in operation,” a statement from the Office of the Vice President said on Thursday.
In a progress report on the GEEP micro-credit products (TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and FarmerMoni), the statement said that ”there has been 30,000 new beneficiaries after the polls.
“So far, a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state has been achieved in majority of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT since after the national and state polls…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 10 million petty traders, a significant ramp up from the initial target of two million beneficiaries,” it stated.
According to the statement, ”the Ministry for Industry, Trade and Investment is actively involved in the implementation of the scheme…That ministry is, in fact the over sighting 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.”
On the measures adopted to enhance repayments, the Presidential Media Aide, Laolu Akande 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,” Akande explained.
He said; “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 Telecommunication’s 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.
“GEEP’s vision (in the long term) remains to empower the over 30 million MSMEs in Nigeria with interest-free, collateral-free loans,”Akande added.
The GEEP programme is a component of the President Buhari government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) which commenced 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.