Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari conceived the TraderMoni scheme way back as chairman of the Katsina State Development Foundation, which gave soft loans and micro-credits to people to assist them in their respective businesses.

This was even he as assured that the Buhari administration will continue to maximize the country’s huge resources for the benefit of the common man.

The Vice President made the disclosure during the Family Chats on Sunday and Monday, in Lagos and Abuja respectively, according to the statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

Osinbajo, who met with Nigerians in their homes and neighbourhoods, engaging them on issues and the ‘Next Level’ plan of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, added that the Federal Government would continue to work towards improving the welfare of all Nigerians.

At the Family Chats on Monday in Wuse and Garki, Abuja, where he visited the families of Rtd. Col. Ahmed Zubair and Mr. Abdulwaheed Yusuf, Osinbajo quoted President Buhari as saying, ‘I will fight corruption, I’m for the common man.  I’m for the man in the street.’

Continuing Osinbajo state, “I don’t know if you have heard about TraderMoni, the loans we are giving to petty traders.  He (President) was chairman of Katsina (State Development) Foundation, where they were doing the same thing – giving poor people loans, credits, so that they will be able to do their businesses.  He then told me, when we came into office, that we must do the same thing for all Nigerian traders.”

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The Vice President further noted that Nigeria is undergoing a rebuilding process under the Buhari administration.

He said, “The message from President Muhammadu Buhari is that our country is going to the next level. We are going to do better and better. We are going to use the money of Nigeria to help Nigerians. So that traders would have more money for their businesses, so that every Nigerian can prosper. Mr. President has said that he will not allow a situation where people steal our money.  That’s why we are not going back to the past, our money must be used for Nigerians. That’s why we have schemes like TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and our Social Investment Programmes.”

The Vice President further said that Nigeria would be great as President Buhari is ensuring the right foundations are built for the country’s long-term prosperity.

He said, “When you are building a foundation, things will be hard.  When you are not importing everything, things will be hard.  We all know.  But things will be better because it is an honest man who is there and the building process is still ongoing. Our country will be great. God has provided for this country a lot of resources, but it must go round. Everybody must be able to take so that there would be education, health, houses for people.

Osinbajo highlighted the significant gains achieved under the administration’s Anchors Borrowers Programme as a pointer to improvement in agriculture, and other sectors.

He said, “Look at what is happening in the North now because of the Anchor Borrowers Programme.  We gave many of the farmers, over 760,000 farmers, soft loans.  So, now they are producing rice, producing millet, producing sorghum.  We are not importing rice now.  We are bringing rice from Kebbi, from Sokoto, from all over the country.  By next year, we will not import rice. All our rice will be produced here. When you do that farmers will be rich. Farmers in other countries they are rich people. They are not poor. I’ve been to a country where farmers own airplanes. Why?  Because their leaders are not thieves. Their leaders help them so that they can farm; they can expand their farms and they can earn money.

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“I went to speak to them in Kebbi.  Two of the farmers came to me and said, since this our government (came into power), they have been doing very well.  One of them said, ‘now I have my money, I can pay for my hajj.’ Another one even told me that he has married a second wife and I said no, no.  I said don’t do that because one wife is enough.  He said since he is getting some money be can marry a second wife.

“But the truth of the matter is that there is enough money for us in this country.  I believe that we must give President Muhammadu Buhari enough votes to lead this country for four more years.  If he leads this country for four more years, you will see the difference.”

He reiterated that the administration’s anti-corruption stance, is focused on improving the lives of the common man on the streets, even as he highlighted the impact of the Social Investment Programmes.