By Chijioke Okoronkwo
The Presidency says it is mischievous, but not entirely out of character, for the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, to attack TraderMoni.
TraderMoni is an interest-free N10,000 loans given to petty traders under the Federal Government Social Investment Programme.
Fayose was quoted to have recently described the TraderMoni scheme as a direct “re-looting of the Abacha loots”.
The Social Investment Programme (SIP) Response Team, Presidency, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said that the issue of TraderMoni had been addressed several times in the public space.
It said that the disbursement of TraderMoni was transparent and direct, while the enumeration was technology-driven.
“It is infantile for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Fayose to keep rehashing outright falsehood.
“It is clear from their actions that Fayose and his cronies are bereft of workable ideas and do not have any clear-cut agenda for their campaigns, so they have no choice but to resort to regurgitating spurious allegations like this.
“Their resort to the unending generation of fake news as a campaign strategy is not shocking, coming especially from Fayose, but it is nonetheless pitiful.’’
The presidency noted that the TraderMoni scheme was helping the lives and businesses of ordinary Nigerians like petty traders at the bottom of the economic ladder.
It said that the scheme was another proof that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was irretrievably focused on improving the lives of the common man.
The presidency said that Fayose ought to be reminded that under Buhari administration’s, N2.7 trillion had been spent in two budget cycles on capital projects, the highest in the nation’s history.
It said that expenses on capital projects would not have been possible if not for the prudent management of resources and the absence of grand corruption for which his party PDP was well known.
“This government has been able to do far more with less resources, than what was obtained under past administrations, where profligacy; gross mismanagement of the country’s resources were rife.
“Thus, Fayose’s feeble attempt to lump the Vice President or the Buhari administration into the sordid happenings under the PDP in past administration through spreading falsehood is not only mischievous, but a disrespect to hardworking Nigerians in their millions who are now enjoying the impact of the Social Investment Programmes of this administration.
“It must be emphasised that, for the records, the repatriated 322 million dollars is now currently being applied to support the Buhari administration’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme under the Social Investment Programmes.
“Part of the conditions under which the looted funds were restored to Nigeria is that the World Bank would be involved in over-sighting its disbursements, which is what is being done now.
“Thus, any claim of re-looting of any kind is totally false and must be ignored by Nigerians. Fayose and his ilk merely cry wolf where none exists; a shameless habit for which he is now well known.’’
It said that currently, almost 300,000 Nigerians in 21 states were benefitting from the CCT, where they received a monthly stipend of N5,000.
It said that the beneficiaries were registered in the National Social Register across these states and the process of selecting beneficiaries was transparent.
“It is based on the World Bank’s Community Based Targeting whereby the different communities themselves identify the beneficiaries in a transparent process that is open to review and public auditing, even by Fayose, if he chooses to be that reasonable.
“That the vice president is championing the scheme across the states is because of the commitment of the administration to the common man and to ensure effective implementation.
“It obviously appears that the PDP are riled by the impact of the TraderMoni scheme, where over 1.2 million petty traders are beneficiaries at the last count.
“The disbursement process of the TraderMoni loans is transparent and direct, while the enumeration is technology-driven, whereby enumerators meet traders at their business locations to get their data, which includes names, phone number and account number.’’
The presidency explained that the process was largely tied to a phone number which also doubled as a mobile money wallet.
It said that the registered phone numbers were then credited with the loan via a mobile money platform, from which the agents transferred the money to the beneficiary’s bank account or give physical cash of N10,000 in cases where no account existed.
“The Bank of Industry facilitates the loan disbursements in partnership with third-party agents to ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency of the process.
“What is reassuring is that Nigerians are aware of the desperation of people like Fayose, who are rehashing old, baseless and worn-out allegations because they really have nothing to offer Nigerians, nor any shard of honour left to their names.’’ (NAN)