Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday began the disbursement of start-up capital for 39,000 petty traders in the Federal Capital Territory.
The disbursement is part of the current administration’s drive to empower over two million petty traders across the country through a commercial loan scheme tagged “Trader moni.”
The scheme being implemented by the Bank of Industry allows each beneficiary to get an interest free loan of between N10,000 to N15,000.
The interest-free loan is part of the social intervention programmes under the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.
The VP also inaugurated a One-Stop-Shop to address some of the impediments to the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.
Osinbajo commissioned the facility which is located at the headquarters of the Abuja Enterprise Agency.
The centre would provide MSMEs with support services to grow their businesses.
Some of these support are access to finance, enterprise development and regulatory support in areas such as business registration, tax-related issues, and export promotion.
The VP while speaking at the event said the establishment of the centre underscored the effort of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to creating an environment that would support the rapid growth of MSMEs in the country.
The Executive Director, MSMEs, Bank of Industry, Toyin Adeniji, said that the bank is partnering with the Federal government to empower small traders.
Adeniji said that the project which is wholly driven by the government is expected to give N10,000 grant each to the traders to boost their businesses.
She said, ”We are targeting at least 39,000 beneficiaries from every state to benefit from this N10,000, but we hope to increase the amount to N15,000 soon as they pay back within six months.
“It is not a BoI project, but that of the Federal government, we are only here to supervise, after this phase, we will go ahead to ask beneficiaries to open account with the banks, get their Permanent Voter Cards before we start further disbursement.”
The Managing Director, AEA, Muhammad Tukur said that the agency has fully aligned its operations into the vision of the government in providing MSMEs with the needed support to grow.