The federal government has given out loans of about N15.183bn across the country through the TraderMoni scheme, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Osinbajo noted this on Monday in Abuja during the 9th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
According to him, the loans were handed over to 300,000 beneficiaries including artisans, traders and farmers.
He revealed that each of the beneficiaries was given between N50,000 and N350,000 under the scheme.
“A total of N15.183bn in interest-free loans ranging from N50,000 to N350,000 has been disbursed to more than 300,000 market women, traders, artisans and farmers across all 36 states of the country and the FCT. By the way, 56 per cent of the loans have gone to women,” he said.
“We took the view that since the largest number of small businesses in Nigeria are the market women and men and petty traders, we needed to expand the opportunities in these categories.”
In addition, he said that “If we spend N1tn to bail out the poor in this country every year, we will make a massive difference.”
He added that “By giving them credit to replenish and increase their inventories, we give them a stronger chance to earn more, while they also service the value chain that they are a part of.
“But more importantly, we bring them into the formal sector, where they have access to government and private credit, and we lift more people permanently out of poverty.
“An important feature of the programme is financial inclusion. The GEEP has led to the opening of 349,000 new bank accounts/wallets for beneficiaries and intending beneficiaries.”