Is FG’s #TraderMoni a Commendable Micro-Economic Plan or a Mere Political Ruse?

Is Federal Government’s #TraderMoni a Commendable Micro-Economic Plan or Political Ruse?
Image: Trader Moni

It is no longer news that the Federal Government has launched its soft loan scheme for petty traders around the country.

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.

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.

Some wonder why the government would suddenly start distributing money to petty traders so close to the elections.

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.

Others, still, share stories of Trader Moni impact around them

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.

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?

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