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21 Dec 2018

VOTE BUYING! NASS approved Trader Moni, Osinbajo replies vote buying allegations

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has clarified issues over that the ongoing Trader Moni programme, stating that it was not a vote-buying measure employed by President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The Trader Moni is a social investment programme being implemented by the Federal Government and the Bank of Industry to empower petty traders

The Vice President made the clarification yesterday after an inspection of the Command Centre of the Trader Moni programme located at the BOI headquarters in Abuja, adding that the programme could not have been set up primarily to secure votes as alleged.

He said before its implementation across the country, the fund was approved by the National Assembly.
He said, “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.


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.”

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