AtikuThe Buhari Media Organisation, BMO, has contended that the TraderMoni programme of Federal Government enjoys constitutional backing and that it is aimed at intervening in the lives of poor Nigerians, contrary to insinuations that it was meant for vote buying.
The BMO was responding to claims by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in his petition to the Presidential Election Tribunal that TraderMoni was meant for vote buying.
The group stated this in a statement issued on Monday by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke in Abuja, adding that the former Vice President may be scornful of poor people, which explains why he seem inattentive to the fact that the programme was aimed at providing collateral and interest-free loans to small scale traders.
The former Vice President was the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP at the 2019 general elections.
The group also explained that TraderMoni comprises of soft loans to small scale traders, which they are expected to pay back, adding that the N10,000 was meant to provide extra capital for the small scale traders to expand on their small businesses, buy more goods to sell, and then pay back within six months.
“After repaying this N10,000, they are now entitled to N15,000, which when they repay, makes them eligible to N20,000, then N30,000, up to N100,000.
“Government had over time concentrated its efforts and policies on the welfare of the elites, the minority who are already well to do while neglecting the majority, poor Nigerians, by not creating policies that empower them directly and indirectly,” it said.
The group also contended that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari believes that the welfare of the poor is as important as that of the elite and thus they must be catered for as well.
Noting that with the facilities, low-income traders are able to access more funds to boost their capital and gradually expand their businesses, the group said the programme received legislative blessing in the budget as it was under the Social Investment Programmes, which had its budget presented and defended under that of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
“TraderMoni is a part and parcel of the Buhari’s administration’s Social Investment Programmes, which has followed proper budgetary procedure in its implementation.
“The Programmes were approved by the Saraki and Dogara-led National Assembly, which hailed it as the largest form of social investment on the continent.
“It is thus a figment of Atiku’s imagination that the programme has no legal backing. But we are not surprised, Atiku is a master of badly scripted tales that have no place in reality,” the group said.
The group further reminded the former Vice President that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was recently in Anambra and Ebonyi States to monitor and assess progress of the TraderMoni Scheme in the two states.
“Is there any election coming soon, that the Vice President is going to purchase votes for? None! Atiku’s suggestion that the programmes are vote-buying schemes is not just baseless and unreasonable, they are cheap lies,” the group added.
According to BMO, Atiku’s contempt for the poor has blinded him from seeing anything good in Buhari’s programmes for them.
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