FG Promises To Take 100m Nigerians Out Of Poverty By 2029

File Photo: Yemi Osinbajo

 

The Federal Government has reiterated its promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, gave the assurance on Thursday when he paid a visit to the emir of Gwandu in Kebbi State.

According to a statement from the office of the VP, some of the schemes put in place towards the objective, include empowerment programmes such as the tradermoni and marketmoni schemes.

Read Also: Niger IDPs Reject Government’s Relief Materials

“The president’s desire for this programme is that every hardworking citizen should be able to have some support from the government, no matter how little their inventory,” Osinbajo said.

He also expressed confidence that the objective will be achieved.

He, however, noted that it can only be done with the support of the state governments.

Osinbajo Monitors TraderMoni Activities In Anambra

 

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday visited Anambra State to monitor activities of the Federal Government’s ‘TraderMoni’ Scheme in the state.

The vice president had earlier arrived Awka, the Anambra State capital where he was received by Governor Willie Obiano.

He visited Eke Awka market and Ochanja market, where petty traders excitedly welcomed him.

He also visited the palace of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe.

The Vice President’s visit to Anambra markets is a continuation of his tour of markets across the country to monitor activities of the Federal Government scheme called ‘TraderMoni’.

 

The Vice-President also shared a picture of his visit to the Eke-Awka market on his official Twitter handle. He says the scheme is aimed at boosting the informal sector of Nigeria’s economy.

 

Osinbajo had visited markets interacting directly with market men and women about the Federal Government’s plan to alleviate poverty through the scheme.

The Trader Moni is a loan programme designed specifically for petty traders and artisans across Nigeria and it is part of the Federal Government’s enterprise and empowerment programme.

Although the initiative has been criticised in some quarters particularly by the opposition party, the federal government insists the initiative is designed to ensure that the petty traders and artisan benefit directly from the government.

 

FG Remains Committed To Empowering 30 Million MSMEs With Interest-Free Loans, Says Osinbajo

Flood: Change The Habits Of Blocking Drainages, FG Tells Nigerians
File Photo: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal Government remains committed to empowering over 30 million MSME’s in Nigeria with interest-free, collateral-free loans.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, who represented the VP, said this on Thursday while giving a progress report on the GEEP micro-credit products (TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and FarmerMoni).

“GEEP’s vision (in the long term) remains to empower the over 30 million MSMEs in Nigeria with interest-free, collateral-free loans,” Akande said.

He also debunked reports that the TraderMoni scheme and other GEEP micro-credit products – a component of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme, had been suspended.

Read Also: INEC To Probe FG’s TraderMoni Scheme

According to him, they are still very much in operation and “so far, a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state has been achieved in majority of the 36 states and FCT since after the national and state polls.”

He further explained that “what the implementing agency has been doing since the last phase of disbursements is generating the balance of program funding while ramping up on the states with shortages.”

Read the full statement below…

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE

30,000 PETTY TRADERS HAVE RECEIVED TRADER MONI LOANS SINCE AFTER ELECTIONS

*With repayments, some have started collecting 2nd (improved) loans of N15, 000

Contrary to speculations in some quarters, the TraderMoni scheme and other GEEP micro-credit products (MarketMoni and FarmerMoni) – a component of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme, are still very much in operation, Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), has said.

Mr Akande disclosed this in a progress report on the GEEP micro-credit products (TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and FarmerMoni).

According to him, “So far, a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state has been achieved in majority of the 36 states and FCT since after the national and state polls.”

Besides, he added that “what the implementing agency has been doing since the last phase of disbursements is generating the balance of program funding while ramping up on the states with shortages.”

“Consequently, disbursements have continued to happen in the states; for instance, we have had over 28,000 disbursements across 10 states since after the elections. Our priority is ramping up these numbers in the balance of states before we move to phase two of the program after detailed reviews and structural enhancements for larger scale.

Under the Next Level agenda, Trader Moni loans will target ten million petty traders, a significant ramp up from the initial target of two million beneficiaries.

On the role of the Ministry for Industry, Trade and Investment in the implementation of the scheme, he said, “it is actively involved in the project.”

Mr Akande said, “that ministry is, in fact the oversighting Ministry of Bank of Industry, which is the deploying agency. The office of the Minister executes the GEEP program via the Bank of Industry.

“The governance structure of GEEP includes the office of the Vice President (National Social Investment Office), The Ministry of Trade and Investment, and the Bank of Industry.”

Speaking on measures adopted to enhance repayments, the Presidential Media Aide said GEEP has pioneered innovative solutions to drive repayment compliance.

“Working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), we successfully piloted the concept of the BVN as digital collateral; and we saw repayment go up significantly on the MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans.

“For TraderMoni, beneficiaries can pay back at any commercial bank in the country just like a NEPA or WAEC bill; all they need to provide the bank teller with is their phone number. We also developed and successfully piloted scratch cards as a repayment option for beneficiaries who stay kilometres away from the nearest banks in their community. The cards are loaded the same way Telco recharge cards are loaded, thus requiring no new learning curve.

“This improved repayment received compliance to the extent that in January, the Bank of Industry began second level disbursements – disbursements of N15,000 – to beneficiaries in Lagos, Borno, Ogun and Oyo states for trader who had successfully paid back their first N10,000 loans,” Mr Akande disclosed.

According to him, “GEEP’s vision (in the long term) remains to empower the over 30 million MSMEs in Nigeria with interest-free, collateral-free loans.”

The GEEP programme, a component of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) has since inception about two years ago, impacted many lives, improved living conditions and expanded opportunities for ordinary Nigerians to do petty trading as well as small and medium scale businesses.

Under the Trader Moni scheme, an initial N10,000 loan is given to petty traders and once they repay within six months, they can receive a new N15,000 loan and when they repay that they can get another N20,000 loan until they get as much as N100,000

Media & Publicity Unit
Office of the Vice President
21st March 2019

INEC To Probe FG’s TraderMoni Scheme

INEC To Probe FG's TraderMoni Scheme
A file photo of a beneficiary of the TraderMoni scheme. Photo: Twitter – @Trader_Moni

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will probe the TraderMoni micro-credit scheme of the Federal Government.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this to reporters on Thursday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

While the preparations for the coming elections were taking shape, the INEC chairman raised several concerns about vote buying by some politicians.

He said the electoral body was aware of the controversy trailing the TraderMoni, stressing that they would investigate the scheme for possible violation of campaign finance laws.

READ ALSO: PDP Condemns TraderMoni Initiative As APC Defends Scheme

Professor Yakubu explained that the commission would study public comments on the scheme and assess whether or not the government violated the campaign finance laws.

According to him, INEC has a mechanism for tracking campaign finance violations by the candidates and various political parties in the country.

This comes amid accusations by individuals and groups, including civil society organisations who described the scheme as a form of vote-buying.

Earlier, the INEC chairman addressed senior officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) at a strategy meeting which focussed on the general elections.

In his presentation, he highlighted 10 areas of collaboration between the electoral body and the FRSC to ensure the success of the polls.

FRSC Corps Marshall and Chief Executive, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, on his part revealed that the Corps was already designing strategies and guidelines for officials during the elections.

He informed the INEC boss that a total of 20,000 officials would be deployed for the polls across the country.

Oyeyemi said the FRSC has slated February 5 as commencement date to certify the vehicles that would be used in conveying sensitive election materials.

Election Observer Claims Tradermoni Is A Form Of Voter Inducement

 

Transparency International Nigeria (TIN), has said that that the Federal Government TraderMoni scheme is a form of voter inducement. 

Chairman of the observer group, Awwal Rafsanjani, made the assertion while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Lunch Time Politics.

Mr Rafsanjani claimed that the initiative is an “Official use of public funds in the name of TraderMoni to actually induce voters”.

He said that his claim is based on the fact that the TraderMoni scheme is not a programme that was “part and parcel of the manifesto of the ruling party”.

The TIN Chairman said the scheme which is not a part of the constitution would have been looked at differently if had started three years ago, noting that running the exercise so close to the elections, raises all the wrong flags.

“The allegation by many Nigerians that this is clearly a case of vote buying using public funds to do that, and it goes contrary to our constitution and to having a free and fair election,” Mr Rafsanjani stated.

He said the TraderMoni scheme goes contrary to President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement in which the President said no public fund will be used for his re-election.

The Federal Government has argued that the TraderMoni is an empowerment initiative designed to meet the financing need of at least 2 million petty traders across the country.

Disagreeing, however, Mr Rafsanjani said if the government had TraderMoni as a policy plan, they should have begun its implementation before the elections.

He said no matter what the intention is, running TraderMoni few weeks to the election will give different signals to Nigerians across the federation, adding that if the government was sincere about the scheme, they would have started before the elections drew this close.

Mr Rafsanjani said mixing election campaign with “this distribution of money” is not a good move, adding that the government was ill-advised on the TraderMoni initiative.

He said even the opposition will capitalise on the scheme as an excuse for protest, adding that clearly for him, “TraderMoni is vote buying”.

PDP Condemns TraderMoni Initiative As APC Defends Scheme

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have continued to trade blames over the poor state of the economy.

Mr Kassim Afegbua, PDP presidential campaign council spokesman, and Mr Jasper Azuatalam, APC’s deputy director for the south youth mobilisation, presidential campaign, continued the ongoing debate Wednesday while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. 

While PDP claimed that the lives of Nigerians were made better under its 16-year rule, the opposition party said the TraderMoni initiative is only a scheme for vote buying which has not really influenced the lives of Nigerians.

“From the record of performance of the APC in the last three and half years, I think it is obvious that this government does not have the capacity and the competence to manage the internal contradictions in the country and thereafter deliver on its electoral promises.

“To that extent, people have compared two scenarios. The first is that of PDP, the second is that of APC. And they can compare and trust that life was better under the PDP and this is very instructive. And if you look at what was gotten in the last three and half years, life has become much more difficult now.

“The APC will naturally come up with this weather-beaten rhetoric of saying that 16 years of PDP, they didn’t do well. We are doing so much and all of that. But when you look at the statistics, they are completely negative – whether our GDP, job creation or borrowing, unemployment, insecurity, anti-corruption fight,” Afegbua stated.

In reply to PDP’s claims, the APC said it would not bow to pressure by the opposition to stop the TraderMoni programme of the Federal Government, insisting that the initiative has bettered the lives of the masses.

APC spokesman, Jasper Azuatalam said he considered the criticism by the main opposition PDP an abuse on the sensitivity of Nigerians that voted the party into office in 2015.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Launches Tradermoni In Delta Insists Scheme Has No Political Undertone

Azuatalam accused the PDP of creating what he described as “hunger and poverty in the land”, vowing that the party would continue to deliver on its electoral promises to Nigerians.

“I consider this an abuse to the sensitivity of Nigerians who voted the All Progressives Congress (APC) to come and ameliorate the challenges, the poverty and the hunger that was created by the PDP.

“And I will want to state it here clearly and unequivocally that the APC-Federal Government will never stop the TraderMoni initiative because terming this to be vote buying means that PDP and their cronies are fighting so hard to see that Nigerians continue to suffer and the developmental strides of APC are not felt.

“I wonder how somebody will tag the TraderMoni an initiative that the Federal Government has brought to reach out to market people. The PDP has seen that this is making the people believe so much in the Buhari-led Federal Government and they are saying that Buhari must stop the TraderMoni. Buhari will never stop the TraderMoni, it will continue,” Azuatalam argued.

The TraderMoni is a federal government initiative aimed at providing two million petty traders across the country with collateral-free loans.

Osinbajo Reacts To Obasanjo’s Comments On TraderMoni [FULL STATEMENT]

 

Professor Yemi Osinbajo has said that the statement by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on the Federal Government’s TraderMoni microcredit scheme is either a clear sign of the former President’s “ignorance or mischief”.

This is according to a statement by Mr. Laolu Akande, a senior special aide to the Vice President on media and publicity.

Akande’s communique asserted that “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 perhaps he is on a mischievous mission.”

The rejoinder further said that Obasanjo has demonstrated “a surprising but complete misunderstanding of the workings of TraderMoni, that is if we assume there is no mischief intended.”

The rejoinder also noted that “Attacks such as this on a scheme that benefits the masses of our people is a direct attack on the people and this kind of conduct does not reflect very well on a former president but is only self-denigrating and of no public value”.

READ ALSO: ‘Points For Concern And Action’: Obasanjo’s Full Statement On Buhari, CJN’s Trial, Others

Below is the full statement as sent out by the Senior Special Assistant-Media&Publicity to the Vice President.

“Obasanjo’s attack on TraderMoni reflects either his ignorance or mischief – Presidency

(Statement attributable to Laolu Akande)

The statement purportedly attributed to former president Olusegun Obasanjo regarding Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and the Federal Government’s TraderMoni microcredit scheme if, indeed true and accurate, is most unfortunate, according to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande.

While responding to media inquiries regarding the former president’s comments over the weekend, Akande noted that “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 perhaps he is on a mischievous mission.”

According to Akande, the former President has demonstrated “a surprising but complete misunderstanding of the workings of TraderMoni, that is if we assume there is no mischief intended. “

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.

Secondly, while one will not bother to further address the issue of timing of the implementation since such issues are now known to be political posturing, it is important to note that TraderMoni is being actively implemented across all states of the federation and the FCT. It is not only Lagos and Abuja as was insinuated.

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.

Thirdly, in what is certainly a curious comment, the former President has also been quoted as describing the TraderMoni scheme as idiotic. To label such people-friendly scheme as idiotic is not only an absurdity, it is also an affront to the sensibilities of these hard working Nigerians, the beneficiaries of the micro-credit scheme.

For emphasis, the Bank of Industry implements the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, one part of our Social Investment Programme. Enumeration Agents have been engaged to visit the markets and other points where petty traders are found to confirm that they are traders and also take their biometric information for recording purposes. After the enumeration, the N10,000 collateral free loans are then disbursed electronically through the petty traders’ phones.

TraderMoni is designed to meet the needs of the larger population of petty traders at the bottom of the pyramid who do not meet the more stringent criteria of BVN, bank accounts, market associations, cooperatives, required for bigger Market Moni loans.

Under GEEP – which has MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni, at least 1.5 million Nigerians are already beneficiaries of the three-pronged approach of GEEP, while N-Power has created jobs for 500,000 young Nigerians graduates, besides non-graduates. Also, almost 300,000 Nigerians have benefitted from the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), which is given to the poorest and most vulnerable among us, and over 9.2 million school pupils are being fed a free meal daily in 26 states under the Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

It bears repetition that higher economic growth potentials are associated with lower income inequality. This makes a most overwhelming case for welfare payments like the social investment schemes like the TraderMoni/MarketMoni schemes. Such a micro-credit scheme provides a higher rate of inclusion into the financial bracket and is crucial in lifting hardworking people out of poverty as has been the case in other countries like India and Brazil.

Fourthly, the former president also rehashed discredited claims suggesting that TraderMoni beneficiaries were required to tender their PVCs, and questioned the timing of the implementation.

Let me, therefore, state again that beneficiaries of TraderMoni are not required to show their Personal Voters Cards (PVCs) or any document indicating their political affiliations to qualify for the loans. This is why the enumeration is done in the open markets and wherever the traders ply their trade. This issue has been addressed several times by the Presidency in the public space. Therefore the former president’s alleged comments smirk of outright mischief as it regurgitates blatant falsehood.

Equally, if the former president had conducted a simple act of diligence, he would have found that the National Assembly had approved this programmes and budgeted for them duly.

When President Muhammadu Buhari came into office, one of the major hinges of this administration was to uplift the common man out of poverty and ensure the welfare of ordinary Nigerians. TraderMoni is one of such schemes conceived in 2016 under the Social Investment Programme of this administration.

Being a former president, Chief Obasanjo ordinarily should appreciate the impact of such far-reaching social investment schemes, which has provided what is now the largest social safety net for millions of Nigerians and is unprecedented in the nation’s history.

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.

It is pertinent to state that the false allegations against TraderMoni raised again by the former president is sadly a rehash of baseless claims previously made by leading chieftains of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, whose record of profligacy, corruption and mismanagement clearly show it has no agenda to uplift the common man or improve the lives of Nigerians.

Finally, attacks such as this on a scheme that benefits the masses of our people is a direct attack on the people and this kind of conduct does not reflect very well on a former president but is only self-denigrating and of no public value. 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.

January 21, 2019”

 

TraderMoni: Buhari Is Relooting Abacha Loots — Fayose

Fayose Involved In Road Accident
Former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose (file)

 

A former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose has described the Federal Government TraderMoni scheme as not only an avenue for advanced votes buying but direct “re-looting of the Abacha loots.”

Fayose questioned the rationale in Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo leaving Abuja and spending about N25 million on maintenance of presidential jet as well as allowances for himself, aides, protocols, security and others just to share say N10 million.

He said if the Federal Government was sincere about TraderMoni, the fund should have been paid into bank accounts of beneficiaries so that the disbursement can be traced and properly audited, adding that “When I was governor, more than 20,000 people got N5,000 monthly stipend and the money was paid into their bank accounts.”

READ ALSO: 2019 Election Is Not A Do Or Die Affair, Have No Fear – Buhari

According to a statement issued on Monday by his Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, the former governor, who is also the Southwest Coordinator of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council said Nigerians had already seen through the deceit of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government and will respond appropriately with their votes in 2019.

The ex-governor said it was even funny that the same President Muhammadu Buhari who insisted that the late Gen. Sani Abacha never stole was the one taking pride in his government use of a phony TraderMoni scheme to reloot the $322 million recovered from the loot Abacha stashed in Switzerland.

Fayose said: “If not that TraderMoni was to reloot the recovered Abacha loot, the proper way was for beneficiaries to be captured biometrically and the N10,000 paid into their bank accounts instead of the Vice President going to the market to share cash.

“Most importantly, there is nowhere that the Vice President will travel to outside Abuja that he won’t spend up to N25 million on his allowances, maintenance of presidential jet and the allowances of his retinue of aides, including security men.

“Therefore, of what economic sense is going to say Kano to share the N10,000 cash to 1,000 people? Isn’t spending N25 million to share N10 million same as being penny wise pound foolish?”

Fayose also urged Nigerians to ask the government what became of the funds taken from Excess Crude Account to fund the Boko Haram war.

Osinbajo Monitors TraderMoni Activities In Lagos Markets

Osinbajo Monitors TraderMoni Activities In Lagos Markets
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo having a chat with a trader during his visit to one of the markets in Lagos State on November 13, 2018. Photo: @novoisioro

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Tuesday continued his tour of some markets in Lagos State.

Professor Osinbajo is visiting the markets to monitor the activities of the Federal Government’s free-interest loan scheme, TraderMoni.

Despite the criticism of the scheme by the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, the Vice President visited the markets in Obalende and Makoko areas of the state.

Professor Osinbajo, who met with some beneficiaries of the scheme, had also visited the markets in Ikotun, Igando, and Egbeda areas of the state on Monday.

He was accompanied on the visit by the state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, and some top government officials.

See the pictures of the visit below;