The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday disclosed that at least two million petty traders across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would benefit from the Federal Government’s ‘Trader Moni’ loan scheme.

Osinbajo made the disclosure he visited the Utako and Garki model markets in Abuja to interact with petty traders.

According to him, 30,000 petty traders have been earmarked to benefit from the interest-free loan in each state of the federation and the FCT.

Commenting, the Executive Director, Bank of Industry (BOI), Toyin Adeniyi, said that the traders would be expected to pay back the loan within three to six months after which they would be eligible to access new loans to enable them grow their businesses.

He explained that the present administration was committed to empowering petty traders saying that the petty traders would be registered at the point of their business in order to ensure it gets to the right people.

Adeniyi said: “This programme is targeting petty traders all over the country. For every state in nigeria and the FCT, the minimum number of beneficiaries is 30,000, some will be more than that.

“We are targeting in the first instance two Million petty traders and each petty trader who is enumerated, registered and qualifies for the loan gets N10,000, we will continue for as long as it takes.

“The loan starts at N10,000 you have three to six months to pay back if you pay back the 10,000 you will get a higher loan of N15,000 if you pay back the N15,000 you can get N20,000 and then you can move on. The truth is you can become a very big trader from this small beginning.

“We make sure this programme follows an order; this is not a largess, grant or gift, it is a commercial loan for them to expand their businesses. Trader money is a loan that will allow petty traders to go to the next level to allow them to break away from the cycle of not having access to capital to do their business,” the banker added.

While advising interested petty traders to open an account and also obtain a Bank Verification Number (BVN) with any of the banks to qualify for the second round of loans, Adeniyi advised those yet to be captured to be patient as the programme has been designed to cover as many traders as possible.

“Other petty traders should wait, our target is to reach as many petty traders as we can. In some other states already we are impacting lives, we are impacting business so I want everybody to remain patient, there is a process to it”, the BoI representative added.