31,594 Microenterprises Receive FG’s Interest-Free Loans
The Federal Government, through the Bank of Industry, has disbursed Market-Moni loans to 31,594 microenterprises in Lagos State. Market-Moni loans are zero-interest loans available under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, one of the National Social Investment Programmes of the Federal Government.
According to a statement, Market-Moni beneficiaries in Lagos and key stakeholders in charge of the scheme converged on the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere for the Lagos State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Clinic, which was organized by the Federal Government to support the MSMEs. At the MSME Clinic, the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was represented by the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, and the Special Adviser to the Vice President on MSMEs, Mr Tola Johnson.
The Minister, who inspected the exhibition stands and interacted with some GEEP Market-Moni beneficiaries, expressed delight at the progress of micro businesses in Lagos State. Apart from providing financial support in terms of interest-free loans, she said the government was prepared to ease all the policy regulations and bottlenecks that were confronting MSMEs in the country. One of the beneficiaries in the state, who talked about the impact of the scheme on her business, Iyabo Lamidi, said, “When the Iponri Market Elders told us about the loans, I didn’t believe at first until market women started testifying. Now, I can proudly say Market-Moni is real. I got N100,000 to boost my gift items business and the returns have been great.”
Another beneficiary, Margaret Jakpovi, who got a Market-Moni loan to support her cleaning business, said, “Market-Moni has helped me to employ more people; now, I can complete more jobs and earn more money.” “The GEEP scheme includes loans in different categories called Trader-Moni, Market-Moni, and Farmer-Moni. In December 2016, disbursement commenced across the country, and as of today, there are over 350,000 beneficiaries across all 36 states of the nation including the FCT,” the statement said. It added that the project was executed by the BoI, and it directly impacted traders, market women, artisans and farmers.
The criteria for selection were given as a valid Bank Verification Number, membership of a registered cooperative or market association and a mobile phone. It requires no collateral and it is interest-free, according to the statement. “GEEP Market-Moni loans are repayable in six months with two weeks grace period,” the statement said.