- The vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, said he is not using the TraderMoni programme to buy votes
- Osinbajo made this known after an inspection of command centre of the programme located at BOI headquarters in Abuja
- He said over 1.5 million out of the two million targeted petty traders have benefitted from it
Allegations that the ongoing Trader Moni programme being implemented by the federal government and the Bank of Industry to empower petty traders is aimed at buying votes in 2019 general elections has been dismissed by the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo.
The Punch reports that Osinbajo maintained that the programme was not a vote-buying measure employed by President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the election.
He made this known after an inspection of the command centre of the Trader Moni programme located at the BOI headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, “Anybody who calls Trader Moni vote buying is absurd; you can see it for yourself that this is a programme that has affected millions of lives.
“In any case, it was approved by the senate and the entire National Assembly. If a programme is duly approved by the National Assembly and we are going out and implementing that programme and doing it as vigorously as possible, I don’t understand where anyone will get that kind of notion from, it’s a very weird notion.”
Osinbajo disclosed that so far, over 1.5 million out of the two million targeted petty traders had benefitted from the programme, adding that it was the largest programme currently running in Africa.
While noting that petty traders were the largest network in the commercial value chain, he further revealed that Trader Moni was an offshoot and extension of President Muhammadu Buhari’s earlier project under the Katsina foundation, where petty traders were empowered with N2,000 to boost their businesses.
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He added: “We intend to ensure that as many petty traders as possible get into this programme. It is a very important programme for us and the single reason is that petty traders are the largest number of people in our commercial value chain, and we want to be able to touch them.
“Nobody really wants to give petty traders loan; banks don’t want to give them loan. So with the very innovative programme developed by the Bank of Industry, in association with the social investment programme by the federal government, we now have a huge opportunity to enrich a large number of petty traders in a systematic, credible way that we can monitor and evaluate what is going on; this is exciting.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that allegations that the Buhari administration’s TraderMoni empowerment programme was aimed at buying votes ahead of the 2019 general elections have been dismissed by the APC caucus in the House of Representatives.
Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the House and leader of the caucus, while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, December 12, condemned members of the National Assembly who accused Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of vote buying.
The TraderMoni programme is being spearheaded by the vice president who has been to major markets across the country to grant the N10,000 interest-free loan to petty traders.
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