It is no longer news that the Federal Government has launched its soft loan scheme for petty traders around the country.
@Trader_Moni has previously been activated in Gwagwalada, Nyanya and Utako markets. Quite a number of petty traders and artisans have been registered and credited with this TraderMoni loan in Abuja. Today, we have enumerators in Wuse & Karu Market #Abuja#tradermonipic.twitter.com/FwjuWy3xpa
— TraderMoni (@Trader_Moni) November 29, 2018
Powered by the Bank of Industry and prioritised by vice president Yemi Osinbajo, the scheme called Trader Moni targets petty traders selling petty commodities in common markets around the country. From pepper and crayfish sellers to palm oil, meat and Garri sellers.
The scheme also targets small-time artisans who frequently require loans to keep their businesses going.
The plan is very simple. Traders register for Trader Moni using their phones and get accredited. Upon accreditation, a trader becomes eligible for a collateral-free and interest-free loan of N10,000. If the trader pays back the loan within 6 months, they become eligible for a loan of N15,000.
If they pay back the 15,000 within 6 months they become eligible for 20,000 etc
The Trader Moni scheme definitely looks like a good micro-economic initiative. At least the hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries will likely tell you so. And the strategy of making eligibility to higher sums an incentive not only ensures the traders pay back the loan, but it also shows that they are actually growing.
But, as with everything about government, not everyone will detach schemes like this from politics.
Nigeria achieved fastest growing economy in Africa under GEJ, the change vuvuzelas said it was worthless. Here’s Africa leaving Nigeria behind. There’s no single continental or regional achievement under Buhari. Osinbade is sharing 10k #TraderMoni as their major achievement! https://t.co/ry2Ex3CaJP
— ThankGod Ukachukwu (@kcnaija) November 29, 2018
So, is Trader Moni a commendable scheme or just another straw-clutching antic of Buhari’s government which many believe is already drowning ahead of the 2019 election?
Some Nigerians have openly condemned the scheme, referring to it as a vote-buying and campaign ploy by the federal government.
This is just vote buying …Let’s be honest for once
— dem (@Adimchukwunobii) November 29, 2018
Some wonder why the government would suddenly start distributing money to petty traders so close to the elections.
I was on official work @ Wuse Market.Pple where ffg me & asking for their share of #TraderMoni Two intelligent traders said they won’t collect. That why share money close to an election.That its vote buying. SAD!!. I simply told them I dont work for them.@nafeezi @farooqkperogipic.twitter.com/FQgzTsJ8qV
— Daniel Isibor (@DanielIsibor1) November 29, 2018
Others simply consider it a scam, regardless of whatever anyone else says.
They nonetheless expressed their belief that even that won’t save the Buhari administration from getting the boot come 2019.
But other Nigerians have come to the rescue of the government, insisting that Trader Moni is neither a campaign strategy nor a vote-buying ploy as more petty traders are keying into the scheme and enjoying the benefits it brings.
Others are of the opinion that only beneficiaries of the scheme would decide if it is a scam or not. With their votes.
Keep calling this vote buying and saying Buhari has done nothing, and by Feb 2019, those that are seeing what the fed govt is doing now and how the govt is touching their lives positively will tell you through their votes. Then, i wonder what will be your ringtone #TraderMonipic.twitter.com/HDkXytpv1T
— Ayo (@miss_ayomide) November 29, 2018
Others, still, share stories of Trader Moni impact around them
I did the #TraderMoni registration for some people in my area , I wasn’t so serious with . I just do it like may be , until I started receiving calls on the messages they got and asking me where to cash . The people are now picking their cash .This is wonderful ☺
— Humblesoul (@Humblesoul01) November 29, 2018
Trader Moni Officials Accused of Corruption
As has become the norm in Nigeria, expect people to take advantage of the system to enrich themselves. Now, some Trader Moni agents have been accused of asking the beneficiaries for payments before accrediting them for the scheme.
There’s a woman in Zaria (Sabon Gari), who collects 200 Naira from women just for them to apply for the #tradermoni. And after the money has been disbursed before, she still deducts 1000 Naira before it get to the beneficiary.
@elrufai @hadizel @InvestKadunaShould do somethin
— Sardeeq (@iamsardeeq) November 26, 2018
In another instance, it was reported that the agents received kickbacks of 1,000 from traders before disbursing their money.
This requires serious looking into because it’s stories like these that promote the idea that government money is everybody’s and nobody’s money.
Fact is, no act of government or politicians is devoid of political undertone especially in a democracy. So could FG’s Trader Moni be a campaign and vote-buying strategy? Maybe.
But as someone opined, if it is vote buying it is been done legitimately because it actually does a degree of good to large sections of the common and most vulnerable members of the society. Sounds like a prerogative of government, doesn’t it?
What do you think ?