The Federal Government has begun the disbursement of N10, 000 micro-credit each to traders in Bayelsa State.
The scheme, tagged, ‘TraderMoni’ is operated by the Federal Government through the Bank of Industry in collaboration with the GDM Group and Enyowo, a mobile money operator.
Many traders thronged the Tombia market venue in Yenagoa, the state capital, for the commencement of disbursement on Tuesday.
Some of the beneficiaries of the scheme, which is expected to get to over 10,000 traders in the state, expressed appreciation to the federal government for the gesture.
It was observed during the disbursement that proper sensitisation of the programme has not been carried out in the state as many beneficiaries believe that the money is a grant and not a loan.
A trader in fabrics, Nisiama Felix, who got his N10, 000 micro credit commended the Federal Government for the gesture. He said he would use the money to expand his business.
As for Olugbo Timibara, a photographer, he said that when he was introduced into the TraderMoni scheme, he dismissed it as one of those ponzi schemes.
Timibara said, “I am into photography. I feel elated to receive the money. It was like a play when my sister introduced me to TraderMoni programme.
“She told me to register that it was real. Given the experience we had in the past with ponzi schemes, I initially foot dragged. But she convinced me that it was real and I decided to give it a shot and today, here I am, a beneficiary of TraderMoni.
“I thank the government for the money. It will no doubt boost my business as a photographer no matter how small it is.”
Another trader, Ezekiel Ebi, said the N10, 000 given to her would go a long way in boosting her roasted plantain business.
“I was given N10, 000 to support my market. There is nothing like pay back. It is a privilege to receive the grant. I thank God and the government for the package,” she said.
The representative of GDM Group, Olawale Johnson, said the group was in the state to make the activation good.
He appreciated the Federal Government for the scheme, noting that it would go a long way to ameliorating the sufferings of some traders, especially the petty traders.
He said, “So far, so good, the activation has been good. Enyowo has made it easy for people in Bayelsa State to get their money. We thank the Federal Government for this laudable scheme. It is intended to make market women, particularly the petty traders to make their business move forward.
“Most of them complain that it was small money but we make them understand that though it may be small from the outset, but later it will increase depending on their faithfulness in repaying the revolving loan.“
He clarified that the TraderMoni was not a grant but a loan, advising the beneficiaries to endeavour to pay up within six months to enable them to access subsequent ones in future.
On her part, the representative of Enyowo, Oluwakemi Adeneke, said that Enyowo is a mobile money operator in charge of disbursement of TraderMoni.
She said that the scheme targets as many traders as possible within a N10, 000 working capital.
She stated, “We are working directly with the Bank of the Industry for the TraderMoni project. There have been various challenges in the course of this project. Some are cultural challenges, getting people to accept the project. Even though many people have registered, a lot of them do not believe the project. Some believe only when they see their peers collect the money.
“It is a loan and not a grant. Beneficiaries are expected to pay back within six months with interest of N250. It can be repaid daily, weekly, monthly or at once within six months. Defaulters will have the federal government to contend with as there are sanctions for defaulting.”