The Federal Government has assured that its on-going empowerment project for petty traders would never be hijacked by fraudulent individuals.
The empowerment programme, branded ‘Trader Money Project’, is taking place simultaneously across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.
Speaking at the Abakpa Enugu Market, the National Coordinator, Mr. Babatunde Bakare said every measure had been put in place to guard against fraudsters.
Bakara stressed that the programme was free, adding “our agents are well branded, they are from the GDM group, the registration is free, we are not taking any fee, they identify themselves properly, anybody that asks you for money is not part of the Trader Money Project.
“The process of registration is that once the agent submits the registration of the trader and it is submitted to the Bank of Industry, a verification is done and the trader gets a goodwill message from the government saying the loan has been approved and the trader can now assess the money via their wallet. So, it is a very safe process, some registered and within two to three weeks, they already got their loan.”
While offering further explanation, the coordinator said, “it is a Federal Government project in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, in order to empower traders, petty traders.
“We are looking at the lowest of the business hierarchy, they are the people the government is targeting. It is a collateral-free loan, registration is free.
“They get N10,000 and return it in three months or six months. Once they finish the repayment, they get N15,000 and after they repay back, they move on to the next stage of N20,000 after which they move on to another repayment plan and they get N50,000 and then 100,000 loan. In all categories from N10,000 to N100,000 it is collateral free.
“When we started here in Enugu, the acceptability level was very low, a lot of petty traders did not believe the government. They did not believe the government will just come to empower them just like that, so people did not believe. But when it ran for two months, the programme became widely accepted. As you can see today, the programme is now widely accepted here.”
“Here in Enugu we are targeting 50,000 petty traders, we already have about 3000 beneficiaries, we still have a long way to go, but it is a good news.
“As you can see, a lot of traders in Abakpa Market here are eager to participate, before the end of the year, we will have our target met,” he further stated.