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TraderMoni: Rekindling commerce and economic productivity in the North East

Since the beginning of the Boko Haram crisis in the North Eastern part of Nigeria, thousands have been affected, with many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) forced to live temporarily at camps across the country. These displaced Nigerians continue life at the camps even as they wait to be resettled back to their homes. Displaced from their homes, disconnected from their daily jobs, many Internally Displaced Persons are stuck at the bottom of the economic ladder and remain part of extremely poor Nigerians, estimated at 80 million according to recent reports.

Through the Government Enterprise & Empowerment Program (GEEP), The Federal Government is reversing the poverty levels in the region and helping residents, locals and the displaced persons settle back into productive economic activities. GEEP is part of the Social Investment Programs (SIP) under the National Social Investment Office (NSIO), designed to cater to Nigerians at several levels: unemployed youths, petty traders, artisans, MSMEs and other categories of Nigerians that could do with an economic boost.

In 3 years, Tradermoni, Marketmoni & Farmermoni have provided loans ranging from 10,000 Naira to 300,000 Naira to petty traders, artisans, small businesses and farmers. This has seen over 2,000,000 Nigerians significantly receive boosts to their businesses. GEEP has been implemented in 36 states of the Federation and the FCT with a spread of over 2,600 market clusters. The program has recorded over 240 thousand beneficiaries in the North Eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states. The region most affected by the insurgency.

GEEP's achievement – and continued mission – remains to provide access to finance, and sustainable financial inclusion, and to do this at scale.

Over 79% of the 36 states and the FCT have reached a minimum threshold of 30,000 beneficiaries with over 56% of all beneficiaries being female. 

Mohammed Lawal has been selling calabash in Gombe Central market for years and has never received any form of financial assistance before now until he heard about TraderMoni and got enumerated. He was really excited he got the interest free loan as it  will help him grow his business. He is really grateful to the Federal Government for this great opportunity as his business is in order now.

Adamu Salihu was really happy when he received his TraderMoni Interest free Loan. He sells earrings and blouses in Jimeta Ultra Modern market, Yola, Adamawa State. He mentioned that a relative told him about TraderMoni and he registered. Shortly after he registered, he received the loan. He didn't believe it was real before but after getting the money, he confirmed it was true. 

He expresses his gratitude and he said will tell others about it about it. In excitement, he said, "It will turn my business around by helping me buy more goods, increase sales and i'll be able to payback the loan within the stipulated time. I am so grateful to God and the Federal Government, as a privileged beneficiary of this initiative because I have never been this privileged to receive such a laudable assistance in any form in my entire life."

Sarah Danlami shares her TraderMoni story, "The TraderMoni Enumerators were at Muda Lawal Market and the market executives introduced the empowerment scheme to her and she got enumerated, She registered and thought she won't receive it but she did and she appreciates this initiative by the Federal Government and said, "If only we could have more of such initiative that empowers the less privileged people, a lot of negative vices that are rooted in idleness will be cubed to its barest minimum". She is really excited about the TraderMoni Scheme and her business being empowered as she never thought such an initiative will be possible.

She also mentioned that before now she could only trader with a bag of irish potato, but now she can afford to buy two bags to trader with and that's progress.

"My name is Ali Ibrahim. I sell foodstuff here in Monday Market. I have been doing this for four years now. On a fateful day, I came into the market to do business as usual, when I saw the TraderMoni team. They were registering people and I got registered too. After some days, I received an SMS from TraderMoni confirming that I can receive the loan. I rushed to the where the people giving the loan were in the market to confirm whether it is true or not.  Luckily for me, it was confirmed true and I was so excited. I got the money and I have been using it for my business. What I have to say to the Federal Government is thank you and they should keep up the good work so that other people can benefit from it too. I am grateful to the Federal government and my encouragement to every person that got the money is that they should use it and pay it back on time so that the purpose of the TraderMoni can be achieved."

Clara Felix is a TraderMoni beneficiary from Mile Six market, Jalingo.  She sells soup condiments and other minor items. She had her doubts to the extent that she had to wait for others to collect the money before she went for enumeration. She is very happy and grateful to the Federal Government for the loan. 

The interest-free loan has enabled her boost her business. The loan will also help her extend her business to include sale of fish.

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