Olukayode Pitan, the Managing Director of Bank of Industry, BoI, on Thursday said the bank had disbursed N11.5 billion to petty traders and artisans under the Social Investment Programne of the Federal Government known as TraderMoni.
Mr Pitan said this while speaking to newsmen shortly after the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, inspected the Command Centre where Tradermoni is being monitored and tracked at BOI Corporate office in Abuja.
TraderMoni is a micro-loan scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP. It provides capital to artisans and petty traders.
The programme also provides loans for commercially active Nigerians typically unable to access loans from traditional lending institutions as they have no formal identities, financial track record or even collateral.
Mr Pitan said that no fewer than 1.4 million Nigerians had benefited from the programme across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
He said that the money was a loan designed to help Nigerians, particularly petty traders to raise capital but “not a national cake as speculated in some quarters.’’
The banker said that the first loan to beneficiaries was N10,000 and was meant to be paid back by beneficiaries to get more after six months.
Mr Pitan expressed optimism that the beneficiaries would pay back at the appropriate time by the way the traders appreciated the gesture of the government .
He said that 4,000 agents had been engaged to disburse the money across the country.
NAN reports that two million Nigerians are expected to benefit from the programme by the end of December, 2018.