The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has described Enugu State as one of the best states in the country that have performed exceedingly well in the federal government’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme.
Prof. Osinbajo also commended the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for its contributions towards the success of the entrepreneurship programme, stressing that “we have received a great deal of support from the state government”.
The Vice President gave the commendations in Enugu, during the activation/launch of TraderMoni initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration at the Artisan Market in Enugu North Local Government Area.
The scheme which is a non-collateralized and interest-free loan for petty traders and artisans in the country to encourage them earn a living, create wealth and job opportunities for those in the rural and urban communities especially the teeming youth, under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) of the National Social Investments Programme, is domiciled in the Office of the Vice President and implemented by the Bank of Industry (BOI).
Speaking further at the event, Prof. Osinbajo stated that the joint efforts “is to make sure that our people especially traders and small businesses are able to benefit from the programme of the federal government” and to create a conducive environment that would enable the beneficiaries do their businesses with some degree of comfort.
According to him, “if small businesses prosper, the nation will prosper”, stressing: “This is why Mr. President decided that we must do the scheme called MarketMoni in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI) and TraderMoni also”.
The Vice President maintained that the scheme was “very important for us” and “a win-win for everybody who participates” because it puts money in the hands of traders so that the traders can invest more in their inventory, the things they sell, and they can become wealthier and employ people also”.
Prof. Osinbajo disclosed that 4,577 traders in Enugu State have so far benefited from the MarketMoni while 23,834 traders have equally benefited from the TraderMoni, saying: “We intend to do more”.
The Vice President who thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for “your very warm hospitality and friendship all the time”, added that “it is always a pleasure to pass through Enugu State as you are always extremely hospitable to us”.
Earlier in his remark, Gov. Ugwuanyi, who welcomed the Vice President and his entourage to Enugu State, described the exercise as “most remarkable because of its direct positive impact on micro entrepreneurs and artisans in our state”.
The governor stated that the scheme was intended to reduce poverty amongst the Nigerian people and consequentially reduce crime and improve security of lives and property consistent with the Nigerian constitutional injunction that the primary purpose of government shall be the security and welfare of the people.
His words: “As a government, we have not rested on our oars in pursuit of this noble agenda. It is heartwarming to share with you that over the past four years, we have painstakingly institutionalized the Enugu State Traders Empowerment Scheme operationalized through monthly raffle draw across the 54 markets in our state.
“To date, 3600 traders have emerged winners of N50,000 each with visible improvement in their merchandise. We are certainly partners in progress”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi further disclosed that the Enugu SME Center has been the leading voice and platform for promotion of GEEP of the federal government in the state, reiterating his administration’s commitment to making government services available to all residents in the state “that are desirous to make a living, create wealth as well as jobs and live in a safe and secure environment”.