In August 2018, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration launched the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) through the Bank of Industry (BOI). GEEP has two pillars – the first called Market Moni and the second, Trader Moni.
The Market Moni scheme is a soft loans to traders ranging from N10,000 – N100,000. Traders decide the amount needed to boost their trade as long as it remains within the stipulated range.
The repayment period is for six months and there is 5% administration fee. No interest is charged. There is also a two weeks grace period to pay back. At the end of each payment, beneficiary can apply for a higher value or the same value.
HOW TO APPLY FOR THE INTEREST FREE LOAN
1. You must belong to a registered and accredited market association or cooperative which must be registered with BOI
2. You must have BVN
3. Your market association or cooperative must nominate you for a loan and stand as your guarantor.
4. You must have a business location
So basically, to access Market Moni, you need to belong to a market association or a cooperative. This is because the money will be disbursed through your cooperative.
Now let’s talk about Trader Moni.
Trader Moni is a mobile phone driven initiative scheme. Unlike Market Moni, traders don’t need to be a member of a cooperative to access it. While Market Moni targets micro traders that are a bit structured, Trader Moni is targeted at the ultra-micro enterprises.
With Trader Moni, you can access N10,000 and pay back N10,250 to qualify for N15,000. Once you payback N15,375 you will qualify for N20,000 loan, when you pay back N21,000 you will get N50,000. The repayment period is six months with zero interest.
To get registered, you need a mobile phone. Once your details are captured by the enumerators (also called agents), and sent to BoI system for validation, you’ll within 48 hours get cash notification in your mobile wallet account. You can either transfer the collateral free loan to your bank account or cash it at mobile money agent around.
In a nutshell, while Market Moni gives out loans from N10,000 – N100,000, Trader Moni gives loans from between N10,000 – N50,000 without beneficiary belonging to any cooperative or association. The repayment period remains six months.
In 2013, Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), did a survey and they found out thatthe total number of MSMEs in Nigeria stood at 37,067,416 (Micro-36,994,578, Small- 68,168, and Medium-4,670). 68.35% of this number (i.e. 23.3m MSMEs) initial start-up capital was predominantly less than N50,000. This was the justification and it was based on data not politics.
You may ask, why not N1 million or N10m or N50m? This is because there are already other intervention funds like the Central Bank of Nigeria Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), which gives from N500,000 to N50m to SMEs. To access this fund, you need a business plan, and be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), with a collateral.
How many market women, artisans and traders do you know who can prepare a business plan, register their business with CAC and have sufficient collateral to attract the CBN’s N220 Billion SME loan? Aside from this, the BOI also has a similar loan targeted at SMEs as well.
So what has been happening is that the big SME’s with the strength to do so have been able to access the other intervention funds targeted at SMEs, but those at the micro level have been unable to do so mainly because of structural reasons. This’s why they were targeted with GEEP.
So the idea that this is some vote buying scheme is ridiculous. Don’t go with the crowd. The government has been able to help these traders scale up by supporting their business with micro credit. As many that benefit from this scheme, they in turn add to the nation’s GDP.