TraderMoni: Obasanjo is either ignorant or mischievous - Presidency

TraderMoni: Obasanjo is either ignorant or mischievous - Presidency

- The presidency has said former president Obasanjo's condemnation of Osinbajo's participation in TraderMoni scheme is an act of ignorance

- Obasanjo's criticism was described as a complete misunderstanding of the scheme

- According to the presidency, the former president's attack on the scheme is also a direct attack on the beneficiaries of the scheme

The presidency has responded to the criticism of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who condemned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo's participation in the TraderMoni scheme.

A statement by the senior special assistant to the vice president on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, said the former president was on “mischievous mission” with his condemnation of the scheme.

Akande said Obasanjo is ignorant because he does not know how the scheme truly works, and that his criticism could be a clear sign of mischief-making.

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He said: “It is either that the former leader is ignorant of the true workings of Trader Moni and the role of the Vice President in its implementation or he is on a mischievous mission.”

The special assistant also added that the former president has a "complete misunderstanding" of TraderMoni, even as he said his criticism is surprising.

He said: “Firstly, the Vice President does not personally distribute money during his visits to the markets. He goes there to assess the progress of the implementation and to create awareness for a programme designed to meet the financing need of 2 million petty traders across the country in the first instance...

"These petty traders at the bottom of the economic ladder, with an inventory often less than N5,000, are beneficiaries of the TraderMoni scheme which provides N10,000 collateral/interest-free loans to them, empowerment that improves their small businesses, their families, while also contributing significantly to the economy.

“Again, the former president’s attack on TraderMoni and the person of the Vice President is an indicator that he may be wittingly or unwittingly playing to the sinister script of the opposition party to spread falsehood and attack the social investment programmes of the Buhari administration, which champions such impactful schemes, and which is now attracting the praise and commendation of Nigerians everywhere.”

Akande concluded by saying Obansanjo’s attack on the scheme is also a direct attack on those who are direct beneficiaries of the scheme. He cautioned the former president to be more careful in his future assessments.

In his words: “Finally, attacks such as this on a scheme that benefits the people is an attack on the people and does not reflect very well on a former president.

"As is already now obvious, the generality of the Nigerian people will not only reject that attack but will also condemn its source. We, therefore, urge the former president to be far more circumspect and more public-spirited in his utterances going forward.”

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Meanwhile, earlier reported that Obasanjo expressed disappointment in Osinbajo’s activities saying he has shown human weakness and proved the saying that the corruption of the best is the worst form of corruption.

The former president reportedly mocked the President Buhari-led administration’s TraderMoni initiative describing it as an outrightly idiotic programme. He made the statement in an open letter titled “Point for Concern and Action” which he distributed to journalists at a press conference held at his house at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta. ( -> We have upgraded to serve you better.

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