*says scheme targets two million traders
BY GIFT MOFE
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said the federal government social investment scheme otherwise known as tradermoni is targeted to raise at least two million traders out of the poverty line across the country.
Osinbajo, who spoke on Friday at the palaces of the Olu of Warri and Ovie of Ughelli before launching the scheme at the Warri Main Market and the Ughelli Central Market in Delta State, clarified that the money is a loan repayable but interest free.
The Vice President was received at the Osubi Airport in Okpe Local Government Area by the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro, former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta APC leader, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, Chief Great Ogboru, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, NDDC Executive Director of Project, Engr. Samuel Adjogbe and host of other APC leaders in the state.
He noted that aside the Tradermoni for small scale traders, the federal government also had the “Money Market Scheme” for the senior traders which will also benefit Nigerians owning ‘relatively’ large businesses.
Osinbajo, who was accompanied by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, explained that the scheme is aimed at petty traders who do not need too much money to get their businesses running.
He stated, “The Trader Money Scheme will be targeting two million taders with a view to supporting their businesses as well as reducing poverty and empowering them. Today, am here to Flagg off what we know as the trader money scheme. The trader money scheme is one of those schemes that was initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The President then decided following an experience he had with the Katsina foundation which he was chairman of that, it is better to give these petty traders some money as a loan (N10,000) and when they pay back, we give them N15,000. When they pay back the N15,000, we give them N20,000 and we keep increasing all the way up to hundred thousand naira so long as they pay back.
“We looked at the whole commercial scale of Nigeria and observed that the largest number of people engaged in commerce are the petty traders that required little start-up capital between N2,000 and N5,000.
“We then felt it will be better to give these traders N10,000 as loans to be paid back. Once that is done, we give them N15,000 each and keep increasing it so long they pay back.
“The scheme is designed to elevate those people at the lower ladder. I strongly believed that this is the right thing for our people, a way of empowering them. The enumerators will be here till January 2019 to ensure that the petty traders are captured.”
Osinbajo noted that the administration of President Muhammadu has executed several developmental projects which the people of the Niger Delta region had been yearning particularly with the commencement of the Maritime University in Okerenkoko and the dredging of the Warri river.
“We have been able to fulfil some of those promises we made particularly the Maritime University, though there are still issues to be resolved but we have established it. We have established one modular refinery and other three are on the pipeline.
“The dredging of the Escravos bar which will open up the Warri port and it will be a big boost to the state particularly the young men and women looking for opportunities. Also, the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is being executed by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), all these project will enhance the economy of the Itsekiri kingdom”, he added.
At the Ughelli palace, the Ovie of Ughelli, HRM Oharisi 1, commended the federal government for the initiative saying that the FG through the NDDC has executed several road projects in the area.
Responding, Mr Dickson Kpori who spoke on behalf of the Ogiame Ikenwoli, Olu of Warri urged the federal government to ensure that the scheme succeeds in Warri.