Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has debunked the notion that the TraderMoni scheme and other GEEP micro-credit products (MarketMoni and FarmerMoni), which are components of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme, were not for the just-concluded elections.
It was widely rumoured in some quarters that the Vice President might have used the loans as vote-buying strategy to shore up the popularity of his All Progressives Congress, APC.
Osinbajo through Laolu Akande, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja, said that the loans are still in operation.
According to a progress report on the GEEP micro-credit products (TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and FarmerMoni), he disclosed that over 30,000 beneficiaries per state have been captured under the programme.
He said, “So far, a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state has been achieved in majority of the 36 states and FCT since after the national and state polls.
“What the implementing agency has been doing since the last phase of disbursements is generating the balance of program funding while ramping up on the states with shortages.
“Consequently, disbursements have continued to happen in the states; for instance, we have had over 28,000 disbursements across 10 states since after the elections. Our priority is ramping up these numbers in the balance of states before we move to phase two of the programmes after detailed reviews and structural enhancements for larger scale.
“Under the Next Level agenda, Trader Moni loans will target ten million petty traders, a significant ramp up from the initial target of two million beneficiaries.”
On the role of the Ministry for Industry, Trade and Investment in the implementation of the scheme, he said, “it is actively involved in the project.
“That ministry is, in fact the oversighting Ministry of Bank of Industry, which is the deploying agency. The office of the Minister executes the GEEP program via the Bank of Industry.
“The governance structure of GEEP include the office of the Vice President (National Social Investment Office), The Ministry of Trade and Investment, and the Bank of Industry.”