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Among the top challenges faced by small business owners in any country is funding. So, what role should a responsible government play?

With the ongoing FG empowerment programs in Nigeria, funding is no longer a major issue for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

In case, you don’t know how to apply for any of the Federal Government (FG) Empowerment programs, such as TraderMoni, MarketMoni, FarmerMoni, NYIF, AGSMEIS and so on, this guide will walk you through the process.

All these empowerment programs are just like the N-Power recruitment scheme initiated to create jobs for youth across the country.

You might have heard about series of empowerment schemes in the last few weeks but don’t know which one to apply for. Some of these programs have serious eligibility requirements, while some don’t.

This implies that you need to study each of them to know the one that is applicable to you or your kind of enterprise.

For this reason, this article would review five (5) of the ongoing youth empowerment programs in Nigeria, which are MSMEs inclusive.

At the end of this guide, you should be able to apply for any of the FG empowerment schemes that is associated with your existing business or prospective business ideas.

All that is important is for you to meet up with the criteria before sending your application to avoid wasting your time.

If certainly your application meets up with the requirements, it’s most certain that you’re going to get the loan and expand or fund your business in no time.

What are FG empowerment programs?

FG empowerment programs are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) funding schemes run by the Federal Government of Nigeria to assist the youth.

The Federal Government has in the past few months released more funds to ensure so many people benefit from the ongoing empowerment programs in the country.

As a result of this, youth empowerment programs in Nigeria have increased in the last few months.

And the expectation is that before the end of 2020, more businesses and jobs would be created, while the existing ones would thrive better and flourish more.

Gone are those days when a School-Leaving Certificate is sufficient to guarantee the employment of an average Nigerian.

Nowadays, even a first-class degree from any of the most prestigious universities in the country doesn’t assure a graduate of a “white-collar job”.

Little wonder, the high rate of unemployment in the country. 

According to a research carried out by PWC,

High unemployment rates in Nigeria led to the drastic increase in the establishment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which now covers almost 90% of the business in Nigeria and 75% of the national employment.PWC

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are business enterprises which require little capital and make less than a profit of N500,000 per year.

They exist as petty trading, small-scale farming, and some other commercial services.

However, most of these small businesses are still faced with the challenge of raising capital, adequate funds and good entrepreneurship.

Hence, the need for the government empowerment programs in form of grants, loan, investment and business support is required.

Why need FG empowerment programs?

The ongoing youth empowerment programs in Nigeria have the guarantee of helping MSMEs in the following manners.

  1. To ensure the easy availability of capital to prospective small business owners in the form of grants and loans.
  2. To give small business owners the support and advice to help them plan strategically and make rational decisions.
  3. To help prevent businesses from going bankrupt by providing them with sufficient funds to offset their debts.
  4. To create a risk-free economic environment for small businesses and make the economy more secured for doing business.

List of youth empowerment programs in Nigeria

The following are the top FG empowerment programs for youth, providing secured and risk-free economy for MSMEs in the country.

We would be looking at the conditions of application for any of the programs, highlight their limitations and guide you on how to apply for each of them.

If you find one that is applicable to you, this guide is to help you prevent errors that can prevent you from benefiting.

1. TraderMoni

TraderMoni is one of the FG Empowerment Programs created to help petty traders stay in business.

With TraderMoni, the Federal Government wants to change your level by providing continuous loans for your petty business, making each loan bigger as you grow…TraderMoni

This is a loan scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP), specifically for petty traders and artisans across the country.

It was initiated in 2018 alongside MarketMoni and FarmerMoni and is still running till date.

These 3 loan platforms are executed by the Bank of Industry.

Beneficiaries of TraderMoni can get a sum of N10,000 interest-free initial loan and they’re open to higher facility ranging up to N100,000 after they repay the initial loan.

Request for more loans can be done immediately after the previous one is paid back.

How to apply for TraderMoni loan

Application for TraderMoni can be done online or offline. If you want to apply for TraderMoni online, click here to visit the official website created for the program. 

When you get to the website, fill your application form with your personal information and submit the form.

Following your application, a TraderMoni agent will be assigned to you within your state or locallity.

The agent will help you further on your application.

2. MarketMoni

This is another GEEP scheme initiative by the Federal Government directed towards leveraging and accessing finance to petty traders in order to support them and also boost the Nigerian economy.

Start your own business with the help of a government-backed loan and a free business support.MarketMoni

It aims at assisting petty traders to expand their businesses by providing them with an initial loan of N50,000 which its payback can spread over a period of six months.

You can also request for a loan of higher facility ranging up N100,000 after you repay the previous loan within the given time.

The loan is paid to a mobile wallet within 48 hours after complete validation of your application, then the loan can be cashed out by you.

Requirements to apply for MarketMoni loan

The following are the eligibility requirements to apply for GEEP MarketMoni loan.

You must:

  1. Have a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN).
  2. Have a commercial bank account to receive your loan.
  3. Not be less than 18 years.
  4. Be a business owner or trader.
  5. Be an active member of a registered market association or cooperative multipurpose society in your area.
  6. Have a valid means of identification.
  7. Have an active Nigerian phone number.

To avoid wasting your time, ensure you meet up with the requirements before submitting your application.

How to apply for MarketMoni loan

Application for MarketMoni can be done online, either through the official website of the Bank of Industry or MarketMoni application portal.

After filling the online application form, you’ll find MarketMoni agents on the website. Look through the agents in your state for one to be assigned to you.

The agent will be the one to take you through the registration process.

If you don’t want to apply for MarketMoni online, there is a provision for offline application.

You can just visit any BOI branch office that is close to you and apply.

3. FarmerMoni

FarmerMoni is the third GEEP initiative introduced by the Federal Government to empower the people.

This is very similar to MarketMoni as the criteria for application and method of receiving the loan are almost of the same modalities.

As the name implies, the agricultural sector is solely the target here with preference for farmers.

It provides loans for farmers and gives them the opportunity to expand their businesses.

The loan is also repayable within six months. You have access to an initial loan of N300,000 when you apply.

And after paying back the initial loan within the agreed period, you’ll be eligible to apply for up to N2,000,000 next time you re-apply.

How to apply for FarmerMoni loan

The following steps will lead you to a successful registration or application of a FarmerMoni loan under the GEEP scheme:

  1. Go to the official website of the Bank of Industry or click here to apply.
  2. Click Register and fill the form as applied to you with your personal information.
  3. Your verification link will be sent to the email you provided during the registration.
  4. Go to your inbox to check for the email.
  5. Open the email and click the verification link.
  6. You’ll be redirected to your boi application page to complete your registration.
  7. Fill all necessary forms, click Save and Continue to submit your application.
  8. Another email will be sent to you to confirm that your application has been successfully submitted.

Just like other GEEP loan schemes, an agent who will guide you through the process will be assigned to you.

And if all things being equal, the loan is payable within 48 hours to a mobile wallet account, which will be used to receive the money in your bank account.

Benefits of TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni

These Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP) schemes are highly beneficial for MSMEs because:

  • They’re collateral-free loans.
  • They have a low interest fee, which is a one-time payment of 5% as an administrative charge.
  • They’re obtainable within within 48 hours after application.
  • They include free business support.

Limitations of TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans

These include:

  • Loan amount, specifically TraderMoni is too small.
  • Joining a market association, union or cooperative society for this purpose might not be too easy. Because the union is aware of the need to issue you a consent letter, they might complicate the issue for you.

In fact, if joining an association hasn’t been part of you from time, this could be a very difficult task.

But don’t lose hope, there is a way around the requirement for a letter of consent by a union and your evidence of membership.

You’ll have to register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

And with your business certificate, you can successfully apply for any of the FG empowerment programs.

Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF)

The Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) program was introduced on 22nd July, 2020 after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the sum of N75 billion for its establishment.

Among all other FG empowerment programs, NYIF is monitored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This program is expected to run for a period of 3 years, from 2020 to 2023.

Hence, a minimum of N25 billion will be disbursed per annum to support the young existing and prospective business owners who are Nigerian citizens.

The sole aim of NYIF is to financially empower Nigerian youth and generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.

According to the framework released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), other objectives are as follow:

  • To improve access to finance to youth and youth-owned enterprises for national development.
  • To generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youth restiveness.
  • To boost the managerial capacity of youth, and develop their potentials to become the future large corporate organizations.

Criteria or eligibility requirements for NYIF

  • The fund is strictly available for youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
  • Applicants must be citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • Beneficiaries of other NIRSAL (Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System) such as NMFB, TCF and AGSMEIS which remain unpaid can’t apply.
  • Applicants must have a registered business or a fundable business idea in Nigeria.
  • Applicants must present a guarantor and legal means of identification.
  • Individuals with unregistered businesses shall be determined based on the activity or nature of their projects and subject to the maximum of N250,000.
  • Applicants with registered businesses shall be determined based on the activity or nature of their projects and subject to the maximum of N3.0 million (including working capital).
  • All applicants are to undergo a 5-day mandatory online training.

The tenure is for a maximum of 5 years which depends on the nature of the business and assets acquired with the money.

The interest rate is charged annually and it’s not more than 5%.

Benefits of NYIF

  1. High loan amount.
  2. Targeted beneficiaries is high which gives more youth the opportunity to apply.
  3. Considerable low interest rate.
  4. Training will ensure specialization and financial literacy.

Limitations of NYIF

Many applicants might be screened out during the training if not effectively managed.

Numerous documentation which include are required:

  • Duly filled application form.
  • Certificate awarded after undergoing training.
  • Evidence of registered business with CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) 
  • Summary of business questionnaire or plan.
  • A valid Bank Verification Number (BVN).
  • Local Government Indigent Certificate. 
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • A means of identification (National ID/NIN, Passport, Voters card or Driver licence)

For experts, undergoing training might be a waste of time.

How to apply for NYIF

The follow steps can be taken to apply for NYIF FG empowerment 2020.

  1. Go to the NYIF application website or portal and let the application form completely load.
  2. Fill the form with your personal information and Bank Verification Number (BVN) as appropriate.
  3. Select your training centre based on your geo-political region.
  4. Choose how you found out about the NYIF scheme.
  5. Cross check to ensure all the information you enter is correct, then submit to proceed.

Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS)

The AGSMEIS is part of the Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System (NIRSAL) which is a Non-Bank Financial Institution wholly-owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

It aims at facilitating agricultural businesses and other related Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The program is open to all individuals who are interested in agriculture and other related MSMEs.

Other NIRSAL platforms used to create and support small businesses are NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) and Targeted Credit Facility (TCF).

Benefits of AGSMEIS

  • Mandatory training to enhance specialization and financial literacy.
  • High loan rate since it is a targeted program.
  • High chances of effective management.

Limitations of AGSMEIS

  • Not available for everyone.
  • Some applicants might not make it through the training and screening.

How to apply for AGSMEIS

Visit the AGSMEIS application portal to apply.

Conclusion

Based on the list of youth empowerment programs in Nigeria discussed above, funding is no longer a big issue for MSMEs.

With the FG Empowerment Programs, so many businesses would be sustained and in turn, the economy of the country would be stable.

Having gone through this guide, you should be able to choose which of the FG empowerment programs that suits your existing business or prospective business plan.

You should consider how large your business project is and the possible profit from the business to enable you repay the loan within the stipulated time.

For instance, if you want to go into petty trading and the start-up capital is an estimate of N50,000; it would be advisable you apply for MarketMoni.

You could have also chosen TraderMoni but the initial loan won’t be sufficient for you to set up the business.

Similarly, applying for NYIF is neither appropriate as the facility is too big and the business won’t be able to refund the loan. This would be known to the agency and it would be a total waste of time because you won’t eventually get the loan.

So, what are you waiting for?

Here are the opportunities you have been looking for.

All you need to do is to visit the site of your preferred program and apply.

Lawal Rahman

I'm a business administrator, entrepreneur, author, online branding strategist, content marketer, digital consultant, and digital marketing skills coach. I specialize in web and app development, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media marketing.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Abdul Azeez

    This is a comprehensive article that really explains the nitty gritty of the various DG empowerment programs in Nigeria. Keep up the good work sir.

    1. Lawal Rahman

      It was a pleasure! Thanks for reading and dropping a comment.

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