The Federal Government has said in the next few weeks it is going to provide 500,000 petty traders across the country micro loans of N5bn to cushion the economic hardship caused by coronavirus lockdown.
It said it would do this through the Tradermoni, Marketmoni and Farmermoni programmes, adding that 100,000 of such traders had already got the loans.
A statement from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development indicated that it would be doing this through the Government Entreprise and Empowerment Programme, which had been activated.
It is one of the social intervention programs, comprising TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni, and executed by the Bank of Industry.
The statement read in part,
“GEEP is a completely digitised programme where all eligible traders are captured into a database, verified via phone and facial recognition technology, and receive disbursements in mobile wallets.
“Over the next few weeks, a total of N5bn is expected to be disbursed through GEEP, reaching up to 500,000 petty traders nationwide.
“With several states going on lockdown, petty traders and micro enterprises are hit the hardest as they live on daily incomes from trade.
“These loans are to cushion the income losses, while also enabling these traders to serve their communities with essential items like food, hygiene products, and domestic supplies. The first phase of 100,000 loans has kicked off.”
It added that one of the rounds of disbursements had been carried out at the Obalende Local council development Area Community Market in Lagos.