Traders in the popular Watt Market in Calabar, Cross River State, on Tuesday, demanded an upward review of the N10, 000 interest-free loans being given to boost their business to N20,000.
Some of the Traders who spoke shortly after Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo unveiled the Federal Government’s programme tagged: Trader-Moni, in the state, where several traders were given N10, 000 each to bepaid back in six months, commended the initiative
The vice-president had come to supervise the disbursement of N10, 000 collateral free loan to traders which was made available by Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) in collaboration with the Bank of Industry.
An elated trader, Atim Ededem, said: “I’m very happy to have registered and this is one of the most visible signs of government that we have seen. I like the initiative but the problem is that so many people who are not traders in Watt Market are registering.
“So, I think in future, government should go through our market unions and possibly double the money. On the whole, this is a very welcome development.”
Another trader, Joy Unasi, said: “I think it is a very good development and will go a long way in ameliorating our plight. It is better than collecting money from conventional sources where the interest will make it discouraging. So I really commend government for this. However, we would appreciate it if they double the money from N10, 000 to N20, 000 in future.”
Yet another, Godwin Ikpot, said “at first, I thought it is one of these 419 schemes and did not believe it until when the vice-president came to our market. This is the first time in my life that I have seen the Vice President Osinbajo and any doubt I had about trader money has been removed.”
“In fact as I speak to you, I registered after the vice president left so this is a very good development and I think for some businesses like mine which is meat, government should increase the money for us because we are able to pay back.”
A foodstuff dealer, Eshiet Udom, said, “I have registered for the money and since it is collateral free then it is very good for market people like us. But I think beyond this, government should look at the condition of the market because it is not very conducive for us.
Alo, another trader, Eyong Adie, said, “It is very good, but I think the government should go through our respective unions so that only traders can access the money because at the union level, we all know ourselves and beyond this, they should think of establishing a community market bank here so that the money can be disbursed directly to us.”