Keeping faith with its promise to increase financial access and expand financial inclusion to the grassroots, the Bank of Industry (BoI), has unveiled ‘Trader Moni’ initiative. The initiative, which is mobile phone-based, aims to support about two million Nigerians with collateral-free loans to boost their businesses.
BoI’s Executive Director, Toyin Adeniji, while speaking at the unveiling of the initiative recently at Ojuwoye market in Lagos, said the bank will not give up efforts in making sure that every Nigerian who is willing, has easy access to small and medium enterprise (SME) loans to start or grow their business irrespective of their status or level of education.
She said the government recognized the contribution of petty trading to economic development and identified the fact that some of them may not have the securities commercial banks may require to grant loans, hence their decision to come up with this initiative.
The initiative is part of the bank’s Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP). Trader’s details are captured by agents and sent to BoI’s system for validation. Within 48 hours, the trader will get cash notification in the mobile wallet account. The cash can either be transferred to a bank account or cashed from any mobile money agent around. Loans start at N10,000 and can go up to as much as N50,000 depending on the trader’s ability to pay back the loan within the six months grace period.
The bank’s chief stated that BoI was in partnership with other banks such as Fidelity Bank, Wema Bank, GTBank, UBA, Heritage Bank, Stanbic Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank and Jaiz Bank to make paying back the loans easier. The trader just needs to visit any of the banks or key in with a BoI-GEEP agent to pay direct.
Chief Operating Officer of GEEP, Mr. Uzoma Nwagba, said there are other products such as the ‘Farmers Moni’, which provides farmers the opportunity to access loans up to N300,000. Also, there is ‘Market Moni’, which issues interest-free loans between N50,000 and N100,000 to market women, traders and artisans that are a bit bigger and more structured. These products are available nationwide. He urged beneficiaries to do their best to pay back the loans so that others can get the opportunity to benefit from the programme.