There was excitement among traders in Bayelsa state as the federal government, on Thursday continued the disbursement of N10,000 interest free loan to each trader under the Tradermoni empowerment scheme.
Like the previous disbursement done last year the organizers of the programme went round major markets in Yenagoa, including Tombia-Etegwe roundabout, Okaka market in the state capital, disbursing the funds to those that had registered for the scheme.
Speaking to newsmen after the exercise, the Strategy and Operations officer of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), Mr. Taiwo Ajetunmobi, said over 20,000 traders had registered for the programme while more than 10,000 had benefited.
Mr. Taiwo, urged beneficiaries to make good use of the money and ensure that they pay back at the stipulated time to enable government to do more for them.
On the mode of pay back, the GEEP officer said two options were given to the beneficiaries to make daily payment of N85.00 or N430.00 weekly to the tradermoni account of the federal government in any bank of their choice after two weeks of grace.
“Those who finish the repayment of their first loan on time stand the opportunity to receive higher amount of N15,000 and so on. The federal government has a very big plan for the empowerment of small scale enterprises.
“The programme is for the federal government to empower traders, artisans and it makes it easier for young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
“Of course, our targets are micro business SMEs; these are people who typically have zero access to credit. As the government helps them to grow their businesses, their families will benefit and the economy will also benefit”, he added.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to our correspondent expressed appreciation to the federal government for helping them to grow their businesses.
The chairlady of Tombia-Etegwe roundabout market, Mrs. Felicia Okwodejo thanked the federal government and the organizers of the programme for making her a beneficiary, urging other beneficiaries to ensure that they pay back the money as when due.
Another beneficiary, Mrs. Deborah Azeveli who runs a provision store said, “l really appreciate the federal government because this makes me feel a sense of belonging for the first time in my life. This will boost my business a lot”.