Nigerian former president, Olusegun Obasanjo has mocked the TraderMoni, an initiative by the Federal Government flagged-off by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, describing it as an outrightly idiotic programme.
In an open letter titled ‘Point for Concern and Action, which he distributed to some newsmen at a press conference held at his house at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, he said Osinbajo has displayed executive recklessness and abuse of office.
According to Obasanjo, the Vice President has shown human weakness and proved the saying that the corruption of the best is the worst form of corruption. “Osinbajo must have gone for, “if you can’t beat them, join them,” Obasanjo added.
“Traders in rural and sub-urban areas of Nigeria are many more than those in urban areas and they are much poorer than traders in Lagos, Abuja and other cities. They need more attention and greater help. Are they to be confined to the heap of perpetual poverty? What of those who are not traders? They are not entitled to hand-out and they can languish in penury? And what about millions who have lost their jobs in the last three and a half years? The timing is also suspect. Those who criticise the action are called evil but they are not evil as they know what they are doing and saying, and they love Nigeria and Nigerians not less than the likes of Osinbajo. They are not devils incarnate; they are patriots.” Obasanjo was quoted in the letter.
TraderMoni is meant to help very small scale traders to easily get loans without collateral in Nigeria for the purpose of expanding their small businesses. It avails artisans, street hawkers, and petty traders to have access to loan facilities from N10,000.
Unlike the existing GEEP Market Moni loan scheme, which targets market women, traders, artisans, and enterprising youths, TraderMoni is a micro-credit scheme to cater for ultra-micro enterprises.
The initiative which has started nationwide is bid to support 2 million Nigerians to grow their businesses by having access to loan irrespective of their status or level of education
In the past five months, Osinbajo has been travelling across the country, distributing N10, 000 to petty traders in a bid to empower them.