Little Wads of Naira Can Go A Long Way.

The supremacy of emotions over intelligence.

In this era of politics, it has become clear that, love can be blind and unintelligent. I have seen abundantly too that rabid hatred makes people equally blind, and simply stupid…

So, two friends were discussing the appropriateness of Tradermoni, where the low class traders and artisans are given loans of ₦10,000. Many people have accused the ruling government of merely dressing political inducement as a loan – that those are no loans, but handouts to influence voting.

Hear someone..

The immediate past government was sharing money instead of concentrating on important infrastructure.

Tell me, how can you be paying Niger-delta militants a monthly stipend for doing absolutely nothing?..

Now we are having a repeat.

The current government promised to change things around but only resorted to the same approach of the last government of attacking symptoms instead of addressing the disease.

I do not think this is the right way to go.

For another, the amount, if indeed it is meant to be a loan, is too small to be meaningful. He says, considering how much things cost in the market, how far, in the long term or even the short term, 10k can go. He feels the conditions in the country make this is an impractical move .

Hear him further,

The amount that have been spent on this 10k scheme / election-bribe would have done something significant in the area of infrastructure provisioning.

What can Ten thousand Naira really do for anybody?

Government expects them to use 10k to boost their business, only for them to spend much more on transportation and generators because of inadequate infrastructure.

The question is, wasn’t infrastructure bad prior to the past four years?

Successive governments have failed to develop infrastructure in the past , with Infrastructure development going beyond a 4-year plan. There is nothing stopping government tackling infrastructure while simultaneously trying to better the lives of the downtrodden.

For those who think ₦10k is peanuts, some example of different people who would appreciate that 10K loan (which can grow to 150K based on conscientious repayments ) are ..

-Tomato sellers (how much is a basket of tomatoes? )

-Fish / vegetable seller..

-Small hair-plaiting / barber’s saloon who needs an electric generating set to make customers comfortable.

-That girl that hawks cooked rice from mechanic shop to car parks…

-That orange seller at the bus stop…


All these people, (apart from the Barber up there) do not need ‘basic infrastructure’ – like electricity, or motorable roads – to make their business thrive better with additional injection of funds, like this Tradermoni loan.

What clemency in business environment does that vegetable seller need to graduate to not hawking daily, and maybe employing one more person to go to Mile 12 in Lagos, and possibly doubling her income??

Here is a very illuminating account of what small sums can turn out to be with careful/proper management and diligence. It is a long one, shamelessly copied of a facebook post, but totally worth a read:


At the end of 2017, I had cause to hire a ‘maiguard’ for a building development which was under construction and nearing completion but that had been burgled twice.
I offered him 20k/month salary. He asked for more saying he had a wife and daughter to support on the income. I declined, insisting that’s the going rate in the area and all I could afford. He then asked if he could be allowed to run a shop selling odds and ends from the premises to augment his wage.

The security post is one-storey generator-guard-house combo with room upstairs and a foyer and plinth for generator downstairs. I had no problem with the request and admired his quest for honest extra income, so gave my consent.

A week into the job and 2018, he requested for a 10k advance on his salary. I obliged him 5k. Another week thence, he asked for another advance, saying that what he needed was 10k to get stuff for his child to start attending public school and that the 5k I gave earlier just wasn’t enough.

I wasn’t keen on giving advances. But I felt uneasy at the thought of him being pressed enough to help himself in desperation to some of the building materials lying around on the site to raise the money he needed. As things stood at the time with storage, we may not even be able to tell immediately if something went missing. That had been our experience with bags of nails, rolls of binding wire, etc that we would have bought and reckoned on having but would discover missing when needed. That’s aside the outright burglaries; the last of which had occasioned costly loses with some rolls of electrical cable and a motorized gate engine stolen.

I thought of what to do to help him and end the prospect of constant requests for salary advances. Then I recalled our discussion before I hired him two weeks earlier. So I asked why he hadn’t started the trading he requested consent for. He said he lacked capital and was waiting for the second or third month pay to buy the startup wares. He said the first month’s 20k and part of the second would be for school uniform, shoes, and bag for the child and stipends for his family’s upkeep. Then I asked how much he needed to capitalize the trade. He said with 10k he could start something small.

I did the maths. 5k for his child’s school needs and 10k to start ‘wosiwosi’ trading plus the earlier 5k would be 20k advance. A full month’s pay. It had been just two weeks that he worked. What if he takes the money and runs? He could simply disappear to not be seen ever again. These and similar thoughts crossed my mind. I was hesitant. Again, I wasn’t keen on another advance. But I wanted to help him to help myself. So I took a leap of faith. I advanced him 15k, 5k towards child’s school needs and 10k capital for the proposed trade.

Long story short: He started petty trading from a window in the generator house(which by the way is not in use for generator) as storefront. He had been at it for a year plus now. He has grown the trade from a ‘shago’ selling pure water, biscuits, sugar, ‘garri’ and groundnuts to construction site workers and itinerant metal recycling collectors and ‘omolanke’ pushers to a corner shop selling cold drinks (with a discarded fridge and ice blocks), cans of Milo, Milk, bread, salt, maggi, pencils and pen, laundry and bath soaps and sundry daily need provisions to people in the neighborhood.

If anyone asks you what can be done with 10k, tell them to step down from their high horses to the reality of the truly poor, dispossessed and vulnerable of our nation. They will see for themselves if they can manage to remove their uppity bourgeoisie and partisan blinkers.

My maiguard didn’t only capitalize his now-burgeoning provisions trade with 10k, he also funded his wife to buy ‘mudus’ of groundnut which she fries and bottles and also makes into ‘kulikuli’ for him to sell in the shop. I love groundnuts and so do my children. In the one year plus, I have bought more than 10k worth of the home-fried tasty nuts from him. He has more or less turned the place to a one-stop shop for essentials that keeps people constantly trooping around the property.

He has also bought a used motorcycle which he goes to great pains to wash and polish when he’s about to go for Friday prayers. And he manages to keep the compound and environment clean, my only other demand of him.

That’s an example of what can be achieved with 10k in the hands of one with acumen for petty trading.
What’s more. He has never asked me for salary advance or pay rise since. The child remained in school. The wife is likely not too unhappy as she had sent me special homemade ‘donkua’, I imagine in appreciation, on two occasions.

The building and petty trading corner shop that I helped capitalize with 10k is in Lekki, Lagos; not rural Nigeria. In the same Lekki, 10k is just about what one would spend on a modest lunch and soft drinks in a mid-brow lounge/restaurant. It’s not even enough for a front side seat at the expensive circuses of jokers, dubbed stand up comedy, for which some of our people have developed a taste. But it can turnaround the fortunes of some of our compatriots in the so-called 87m poor that our emergency economists and analysts love to tout in opposition rhetoric when they quote politically-concocted data of our nation’s poverty index, but which they will hardly lift a finger to do anything about.
10k is the personal Tradermoni I advanced my maiguard from Gombe a year ago.

Today, the beneficiary, his wife and daughter are better off for it

I don’t think there is anything wrong in making easy credit available to the lowest class – the suffering masses – to boost their trade and income.

That’s actually the major percentage of the populace.

Access to easy loan is the backbone of Commerce in any society, and it is my opinion that this Tradermoni Project should be enhanced and sustained, even beyond the life of this present administration.

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