First Lady Oluremi Tinubu on Wednesday, November 22, launched the targeted Expansion of the Market-Moni Scheme, just as she performed the symbolic presentation of cheques to some of the beneficiaries of the scheme in Abuja.

First Lady Tinubu, who performed both tasks during a launch ceremony, held at the State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa, Abuja, in her speech, advised beneficiaries of the interest and collateral-free loans scheme to invest their money strategically.

Tinubu said the present administration is now poised to support Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country so as to create a ripple effect for employment generation for Nigerians.

She said such support goes a long way in serving as a lifeline to those struggling to make ends meet while enhancing the overall well-being of individuals and families.

According to the First Lady, the transformative impact that MSMEs can have on the lives of the vulnerable ones in our society cannot be overemphasized, considering the fact that enterprises are the bedrock of our economy.

She said it plays a crucial role in fostering inclusive growth and providing tangible benefits to those who need it most, especially women and persons with disability.

Buttressing her position further, Tinubu’s wife said small-scale businesses provide a platform for the economic empowerment of those with limited resources who can become self-reliant entrepreneurs when equipped with skills and a supportive environment.

She said: “It is in this regard, that the rebranding of the three components of this programme is significant. Thus, Tradermoni (now rebranded Owo Oja or Olilanya Ndi Nagbambo or Tallafin Sana’a); Farmermoni (now rebranded Owoagbe or Olilanya Ndi Oru Ugbo or Tallafin Manoma); and Marketmoni (now rebranded Iyaloja or Nne Ahia or Agajin Yan Kasuwa).

“These rebranding drums home, especially among the womenfolk including traders and farmers, a deeper understanding and actual implication of the programme in our native languages.

“As I was informed that one of the strategic components of the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) is the Rebranded and Expanded Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), this Programme is expected to focus, amongst others, on offering interest and collateral-free loans to small scale entrepreneurs thereby providing financial inclusion and enabling individuals with limited resources to access much-needed capital for entrepreneurial endeavours.

“This democratization of financial resources helps break down barriers and empowers the poor to participate actively in economic activities.”

Bemoaning traditional loans from commercial banks, she said such loans often come with high-interest rates and stringent requirements for collateral, making it challenging for those with limited assets to secure funds.

She stated: “Eliminating these barriers, through Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) programmes create a more accessible and supportive environment for individuals to start and expand their businesses.

“Such financial support enhances the overall sustainability of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Small businesses often face cash flow challenges, and the absence of exorbitant interest rates ensures that entrepreneurs can invest profits back into their businesses, fostering growth and resilience. This, in turn, contributes to job creation and economic stability within communities.

“My words of advice to those who might secure interest and collateral-free loans through this Programme is that you should plan wisely, exercise financial discipline in managing the funds, invest strategically, be committed to a repayment agreement, and be flexible to be able to navigate the dynamic business landscape.

“It is on this note, that I hereby flag off the Renewed Hope Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Programme to the glory of God, and wish you all a successful participation in the scheme. May all those who participate in the scheme prosper in their various business ventures”, she said.

In her speech, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, said the Market-Moni scheme targeted at one and a half million beneficiaries across various states in the country would cover all the 109 senatorial districts.

The minister said one major market from each of the senatorial districts would be taken, adding that each beneficiary would receive interest and collateral-free loans of N50,000 after registration.

Edu stated: “We are at a point to lift 50 million Nigerians out of poverty. They will be registered in the market. Their BVN will also be registered in the market…it is taking governance to the people.

“As soon as they register, a loan of N50,000 will be given to them, to use it for their businesses. The target for this is 1.5 million Nigerians that will benefit. We have other programmes that are within that bracket. Some of them are special projects targeted at Nigerians.

“I must say that Mr President is in a hurry to change Nigeria for the better within the next year. Other projects include the N-Power projects, the home-grown school feeding projects, the new special vehicle which is the End-Hunger project, by the Grace of God the President will be flagging that off next month, etc.

“Beyond this, we are going to also launch other projects that will help young people to get coding skills. We have several other projects.

“There are several interventions. We are dealing with multi-dimensional poverty so that in the end, we will have a nation that is strong under God, that its citizens will beat their chest and say indeed I am proud to be a Nigerian, and the Renewed Hope has truly come.”

Meanwhile, some of the beneficiaries of the scheme who spoke to journalists at the end of the event, expressed appreciation to the federal government for the interest-free loans, thanking the First Lady especially for her role.


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