Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was in Bodija and Oje markets in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Thursday, during which he introduced the TraderMoni Scheme of the Federal Government to the traders.
He was accompanied by Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, alongside other governemnet officials.
According to the Federal Government, the TraderMoni is a collateral-free loan that ranges from N10,000 to N50,000, depending on how well the borrowers are able to make repayments.
All petty traders and artisans in Nigeria are eligible to access the loan, government said.
Osinbajo said that no fewer than one million traders have already benefited from the TraderMoni Scheme of the Federal Government.
“The first phase of the TraderMoni was targeted at two million petty traders across the country, but over a million have today benefited from the scheme,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Osinbajo as saying.
Osinbajo said, “We have observed that nobody wants to give these traders credit because lenders believe they won’t pay back.
“The market traders represented the most significant percentage of those who engage in commercial activities.
“Both the TraderMoni and the MarketMoni schemes seeks to address that large population or persons involved in commercial activities who usually don’t have access to credit.”
Some of the traders, who spoke to NAN at the markets, lauded the initiative of the Federal Government.
The Babaloja of Oje market, Mr. Saliu Delesolu, lauded the Federal Government for initiating the programme, saying it would enhance petty trading.
“This is the first time a government in this country will be extending credit facility to petty traders. We appreciate this and thank President Muhammadu Buhari for this.
“We assure our members that the money would go round. Not everybody could benefit from it at once but we have been assured that the programme will be institutionalised,” he said.
A petty trader, Mrs. Olajumoke Ajao, also corroborated Delesolu’s claim, saying the government must be commended for the gesture.