Market traders shutdown stalls to meet Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as he flagged-off the ‘Trader Moni’ scheme in Calabar, Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
The traders, who were appreciative of the Nigerian Governments gesture to provide petty traders, particularly women, with interest free loans, fell over themselves to shake hands with Vice President Osinbajo.
Vice President Osinbajo, during an interaction with a trader urged: “Register for the loan and you will receive the alert. It is our desire to improve the economy of every Nigerian.”
Some traders commended the government for keeping to its promise of creating a viable socio-economic environment for the less privileged.
Sunday Akpan, a beneficiary of the soft loan was full of praise for Nigerian President Buhari, stating: “It is today I believe that our President cares about small traders. We always hear of empowerment to other people. Today, it is our turn and we are grateful.”
Another trader, Kokoeka Nathaniel said: “I just did my registration and they told me I will get the alert. This money will help me sell soft drinks and more snacks rather than these water. It is a very good thing and I thank our President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo for bringing this to Cross River too.”
In another development, the Vice President presented 150 tricycles to youths and market women under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs empowerment project.
Vice President Osinbajo described the initiative as laudable, noting that the Ministry was also empowering youths in poultry and fisheries production, snails cultivation, production of confectioneries, soaps and detergents as well as in other fields of artisanship.
In a brief remark, Dr. Usani Uguru Usani, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs said the event was being replicated in Warri, Delta State and would be extended to other States in the region.
“This empowerment programme is aimed at achieving some cardinal objectives, which include the improvement of transportation access, enhancement of economic activities in the state, haulage of imputes to and from the farm, and the fulfillment of other ancillary activities such as mechanics, vulcanizes, panel beaters and electricians,” said Usani.
The Minister further stated: “It is my hope that this initiative will contribute to peace and development in the state and indeed the region.”
The Vice President’s one day official visit ended at the Calabar International Convention Centre where he intimated the clergy of the Nigerian Government’s efforts to revamp the economy and improve security across the country.