No fewer than 10,000 traders in various markets in Bayelsa have benefited from Nigeria’s tradermoni, free interest loan empowerment scheme, an official has said.
Mr Taiwo Tunmobi, the officer in charge of Strategy and Operations in the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), on Thursday said this in Yenagoa at the end of the exercise.
Tunmobi said that over 20,000 traders had earlier registered for the programme but 10,000 were considered in the first batch of beneficiaries.
The Federal Government delegation went to major markets in the state capital, including Tombia-Etegwe roundabout, Okaka market and others, disbursing N10,000 to the 10,000 persons shortlisted for the scheme.
He urged beneficiaries to make good use of the money and ensure that they pay back at the stipulated time to enable government to do more for them.
According to the GEEP officer, two options were given to the beneficiaries to repay the loan after two weeks –either to make daily payment of N85.00 or N430.00 weekly payment to the tradermoni account of the Federal Government in any bank of their choice.
“Those who finish the repayment of their first loan on time stand the opportunity to receive higher amount of N15,000 and so on.
“The Federal Government has a very big plan for the empowerment of small scale enterprises.
“The programme is for the Federal Government to empower traders, artisans and it makes it easier for young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
“Of course, our targets are micro business SMEs; these are people who typically have zero access to credit.
“As the government helps them to grow their businesses, their families will benefit and the economy will also benefit”, Tunmobi added.
Some of the beneficiaries expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for the gesture.
The chairman of Tombia-Etegwe roundabout market, Mrs Felicia Okwodejo, thanked the government and the organisers of the programme for making her a beneficiary.
She urged beneficiaries to ensure that they pay back the money as and when due.