The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Friday flagged off the ‘TraderMoni’ scheme in Delta State.
He flagged off the programme when he visited the Olu of Warri Kingdom, HRM Ogiame Ikenwoli at his Aghofen Palace in Warri.
Osinbajo, in a remark, said, “TraderMoni” scheme is one of the schemes that was initiated by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
While pointing out that member of the National Assembly approved the “Trader Moni Scheme”, he regretted that some of them no longer support it.
The Vice President also stated that the first phase of the ” Trader Moni Scheme” will be targeting two million traders with a view to supporting their businesses as well as reducing poverty and empowering them.
“Today, I am here to Flag off what we know as the trader moni scheme. The trader moni scheme is one of those schemes that were initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We’ve looked at the whole commercial landscape of Nigeria. The largest number of people engaged in commerce, are petty traders.
“They are small traders. Table-top trader. Their inventories are usually not more than two thousand naira, three thousand naira, five thousand naira.
“The President then decided following an experience he had with the Katsina foundation which he was chairman of, that it is better to give these petty traders some money as a loan, ten thousand naira, when they pay back the ten thousand, we give them fifteen thousand naira, when they pay back the fifteen thousand naira, we give them twenty thousand naira and we keep increasing all the way up to hundred thousand naira so long as they pay back.
“That is the design of the trader moni because we want to enable those at the lowest rung of the ladder and we strongly believe that is a way to empower them.”
Osinbajo expressed confidence that the “‘Trader moni’ is the right thing for our people. Our people deserve to be helped, they deserve to be supported.”
“We will be at two markets including the Warri market. The Ughelli market, of course, we will be there but that will be in January. We are going to do extensive work.
“The market here in Warri, we are starting today. The enumerators will be here going and coming up until January, until we are satisfy locals who are here because we intend to ensure that as many traders as possible get it.
“We have another programme which we call “Market Moni”. That’s not trader moni. That’s for very senior traders. They’re a bit bigger than the petty traders. It will between a hundred thousand to three fifty thousand and even five hundred thousand naira.
“Once we are able to give those who are in that bracket, once they pay back, we open bank account for them. Through the bank account, they will be able to get insurance, health insurance coverage for themselves so that they too can become proper business people rather than just petty traders and we’ll guide them all the way, step by step in their own objectives as per business people in this country.”
In his remarks, the Olu of Warri Kingdom, HRM Ogiame Ikenwoli, who spoke through Chief Charles Ikimi, said the Vice President should not fail in fulfilling his promises to the traders.
The revered monarch, who spoke in Pidgin English, stressed that, “The two categories of traders you talk about so, dey here plenty dey wait.
“Before, them dey see oil company motor for town dey drive dey come but now as dem go Port-Harcourt, as dem go other places, the people dey hungry. Christmas nai reach so, we nor see better inside.”
The Olu of Warri Kingdom said if the Vice President released the money for the traders, their businesses will improve.
He also appealed to the Vice President to ensure that the benefits which he enjoys in Abuja should trickle down to his people in Warri, saying “oil exploration has devastated our land.”
Earlier, the former Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan welcomed the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and his entourage to the palace of the Olu of Warri Kingdom.
In attendance were Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, Prof. Patrick Utomi, Dr. Alex Ideh and a host of others.