As part of its empowerment programme, the Federal Government is to spend about N400 million on 4,000 rural traders in Plateau State.
Under the arrangement which is part of government’s Tradersmoni, concretised between the Bank of Industry and GDM Group, the plan aims at eradicating unemployment and assist those who have businesses but cannot it do it well because of finance.
The money would be paid to beneficiaries through an economic platform called Eyowo.
The Supervisor of GDM Group, Basil Atondo, told journalists during its inauguration held at the popular Terminus Market in Jos that through the programme the Federal Government would be empowering 200 million people nationwide.
He said, “As a matter of fact, the Federal Government wants to register and empower as much as 200 million people nationwide. But here in Plateau State, we have registered about 4,000 people on this scheme. The target is N100,000. If you pay simultaneously as it is instructed, at the end of the day, you will have N100,000 to do your business. If you multiply N100,000 by 4,000 target, you will get the amount, which is N400 million.
“We want to see to it that we reach 4,000 people in Plateau state who, after the period of one year, can boast that the Federal Government gave them N100,000 each to boost their business. That is what we want to achieve in Plateau state.
“The Federal Government wants to meet the upcoming traders to assist them with loans from Bank of Industry that will help them boost their business. When you are registered, the Federal Government gives you N10,000 through the BoI of which you are to pay after six months with an interest rate of 0.25 per cent. That will be N250 in addition to the N10,000 that you are initially given. By the time you pay this money, the BoI will give you another loan of N15,000.
“At this time, you are still going to get the same 0.25 per cent interest rate. It does this till it reaches N100,000. When it reaches N100,000, you pay back the money and will be qualified for what is called market money, another scheme that is coming through which the Federal Government wants to give out to traders to help boost their business.”
One of the beneficiaries and Jos-based petty trader, Mrs. Nkiru Success, was overwhelmed with joy after receiving alert for the payment of the money.
She said, “When the promoters of the scheme came to me, they asked me if I am interested in the business loan, and I said yes. So, they registered me by taking my name and the amount they were going to give me at the end. They said I will fill the message on my phone. And alas, I was able to see the text message.
“I started jubilating at home, and started dancing. Even my children were asking me, what was it. I told them I have received a N10,000 free loan. My neighbours and everybody were asking me if it was real. And I said yes, I fact, I want to tell my people that it is real and a reality indeed. I am happy over it.”