The Federal Government on Thursday announced that it is ready to begin another round of Tradermoni disbursement, despite its inability to recover the N10 billion disbursed under the first phase, three years after.
The TraderMoni is an interest-free loan given to traders, under the Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which started in 2018, shortly before the 2019 general election.
Minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Sadiya Farouq, while speaking at a media chat arranged by the presidential media team, said the government was yet to recover any money from the beneficiaries of the previous disbursement to the traders, three years after.
Under the second phase, BusinessDay gathered that about 1,142,783 persons are expected to benefit, which is expected to “start soon”, according to the minister.
She announced that MarketMoni beneficiaries top the list of registered persons with 412,388 beneficiaries, as against 382,368 persons that have been registered under the TraderMoni, while 348,027 would benefit from the FarmerMoni
The minister further revealed that under the first phase of the GEEPI, a total of 1,962,383 benefited from the TraderMoni, while MarketMoni had 425,362 beneficiaries and 36,508 got the FarmerMoni
Speaking also on the School Feeding Programme, Farouq said the government found out that the problem of out-of-school children was not just a northern problem, but a national malaise.
The minister affirmed that the country has over 10 million out-of-school children, who had been thought to be mainly in the north.
A recent survey, according to her, shows the prevalence of the problem in Makoko, Lagos, Enugu and Jos, with about seven million such children recorded.
She, however, posited that the school feeding programme has led to increased school enrolment; a position that was corroborated by the coordinator of National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Umar Bindir, who the minister directed to provide the figures, said there was the need to make people understand that it is a national problem.
“Some people here, if you talk about out-of-school children, they think you are talking about the almajiris in the north. Some people think it’s actually religious or a Muslim thing. But I can tell you in this programme, we have established it as a national issue.
“We sent a team to Lagos. They went to Mokoko, they met 7,000 out-of-school children picking things from the dirt. The guy came shaking. We sent another chap to Jos, he came shaking also. We sent another guy to Enugu, and for the first time, everybody realised that out-of-school children is a national problem.”
Speaking further on the exit programme for N-Power, which has become a source of controversy recently, the minister affirmed that the government has a plan of putting about 300,000 applicants on a training programme while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will provide them loan.