Osinbajo debunks claim Tradermoni is used for vote-buying
• Says critics are enemies of poor Nigerian traders
• Insists it was approved by the N’Assembly before take-off
• PDP alleges plan by Buhari to use N1.2b farmers’ fund for re-election bid
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Federal Government’s disbursement of TraderMoni is not for vote-buying but a programme well calculated to uplift the lives of poor traders in the country.
‘’I think it’s ridiculous to say that the disbursement of TraderMoni by the Federal Government is for vote-buying. Anybody who ever said so is planning continued poverty for the ordinary trader in Nigeria, as the programme is now affecting the lives of the poor beneficiaries since we began disbursement in the first phase,” he said.
He described critics of the programme as enemies of the poor traders who find it difficult to raise capital from the conventional banks to boost their businesses.
Osinbajo, who stated this yesterday when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Command Centre/Digital Media Tradermoni Analytics Call Centre domiciled in the Bank of Industry (BoI) building in Abuja, said the programme was duly approved by the National Assembly before the disbursements, adding that there is no way anyone could turnaround to describe such legal project as vote-buying approach.
In his speech, Managing Director and Chief Executive of BoI, Olukayode Pitan, said the bank had put measures in place to monitor the movement and payment of the loans by beneficiaries.
He said: “Anyone who fails to pay back will automatically be blacklisted and his account frozen, but we are surprised that these people are responding and paying back their loans.
Also, Chief Operating Officer, GEEP Call Centre, Uzoma Nwagba, said the major centre is situated in Lagos while the Abuja one is second where they receive over 1,500 calls daily from applicants and beneficiaries of the programme.
Nwagba said the basic function of the centre is to co-ordinate the activities of the programme electronically.
In another development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to fleece Nigerians through the extortion of N1.2 billion from poor beneficiaries of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower’s Programme to fund his re-election bid in 2019.
In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party urged the President to speak out on the alleged fleecing of Nigerians to the tune of N2.6 trillion through the hidden illegal N48 tax per litre of petrol, which motorists in the country had been bearing since the fuel price was increased from N87 to N145.