Yemi Osinbajo lands in a Lagos market, flanked by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Many were screaming and hailing the VIPs, who shook hands with the ordinary folks. Cameras were flashing.
It was all for Tradermoni from which no fewer than two million traders will have benefited by next month.
The interest-free and no-collateral loan was extended to three more markets in Lagos State as Prof. Osinbajo, Ambode and Sanwo-Olu monitored the scheme.
They visited Ketu, Bariga and Oshodi markets.
In an interview with reporters after the visit to the markets, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media, Mr Laolu Akande, said:
“The visit of the Vice-President to Lagos was to see the impact of the scheme and interact with the traders in the markets, and he assured them that the fund will be increased to capture more people.
“Our plan is that between now and December, we would have captured the two million traders.
“Already, we have handed the fund to 800, 000. We have enumerated all the two million and we know who they are.
“That does not mean that this is the end of the programme. Our plan is to achieve the two million before the end of the year and add more people to subsequent tranches,” he said.
Akande said the initiative, launched under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), had assisted 1.1 million Nigerians.
According to him, over 1.1 million Nigerians — market women, traders, artisans, farmers —are currently beneficiaries of GEEP, which comprises FarmerMoni, MarketMoni and TraderMoni.
“There are over 809,000 beneficiaries under TraderMoni while the rest are beneficiaries of FarmerMoni loans and MarketMoni for farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.”
Executive Director BOI, Mrs Toyin Adeniji, urged beneficiaries to refund the loan within six months.
“It is not a national cake. The fund is targeted at empowering the traders.
“We expect that if they pay back, they are not only helping themselves but also the community,” she said.
The scheme is to make two million petty traders receive N10, 000 and on repayment of their loan, receive 15, 000.
On repaying the N15,000, they get N20,000, until they are able to get up to N50,000 loans.