Vice President Yemi Osinbajos spokesman, Laolu Akande, says the call by some individuals under the auspices of a group named Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum to suspend the

Laolu Akande

ALSO READ: World Banks rates Nigeria 146 on ease of doing business“This is a major reason why TraderMoni, which has since been formally launched in 33 states and the FCT, will continue nationwide as we intend to reach 2 million Nigerians by the end of the year. Over 809,000 Nigerians are currently beneficiaries of the microcredit scheme.“Despite this being a season of upcoming elections and desperate politicians resorting to desperate measures, it is irresponsible for any group to play politics with the welfare of ordinary Nigerians - hardworking petty traders, who are simply making honest living and trying to support their families - and a microcredit scheme which is meant to help improve their businesses and means of livelihood.“Besides the fact that petty traders are major contributors to the informal economy, most of them do not have access to loans from commercial banks which require collateral or interest, which would help them grow their business, and so the country’s economy.”“Again, through TraderMoni, the Buhari administration is empowering ordinary Nigerians by improving financial inclusion in the grassroots.”

'PVCs not needed for TraderMoni'

Akande clarified further that beneficiaries of TraderMoni are not required to show their Personal Voters Cards (PVCs) or any document to qualify for the interest-free loans.

This is why the enumeration is done in the open markets and wherever the traders ply their trade.“The Social Investment Programme includes the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP); Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT); Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) (MarketMoni, FarmerMoni & TraderMoni) and the N-Power job scheme“The Home-Grown School Feeding programme is now feeding over 9 million primary school pupils a free meal a day in 26 states nationwide; while almost 300,000 Nigerians are beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer.“So far, over one million Nigerians are beneficiaries of GEEP schemes - MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni, while 500,000 young Nigerian graduates have been employed under the N-Power job scheme.“Thus, we urge the group to halt its needless attack on the largest and most ambitious social investment programme in Nigeria’s history, and rather join hands to help our people.“The Buhari administration remains committed to the welfare and upliftment of the common man and all Nigerians, regardless of party affiliations, and the Social Investment Programme is one of the major planks of this administration to improve their livelihood.”

Meanwhile, Senator Biodun Olujimi, has accused the APC-led government of diverting SIP funds for vote buying.