Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has denied the rumored suspension of the  Trader Moni scheme- an empowerment scheme designed to provide funds for petty traders and artisans in Nigeria, following the reelection of President Buhari.

Laolu Akande, the Vice President’s media aide made the disclosure on Wednesday, saying the government has continued giving the loans since the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the elections. He said the scheme would reach 10 million petty traders in the country.

Osinbajo had served as the poster boy for the scheme, visiting markets and facilitating the grants in the lead up to the elections which led to opposition accusing the APC of buying votes under the guise of the scheme. In the aftermath of the elections, the degree of the VP’s face time to the scheme seems to have wavered.

However, Akande claims this is not the case, stating that 30,000 new traders have benefitted from the funds since the conclusion of the election. “Trader Moni, the interest/collateral free N10,000 loans for petty traders is on course. Ignore reports to the contrary,” Akande said. “In fact since after the elections, about 30,000 new loans have been given across ten states. Also since traders have started repaying, N15,000 disbursements have also commenced to petty traders in Lagos, Borno, Ogun & Oyo States. The Buhari administration is committed to this scheme and in the Next Level Implementation ten million Nigerian petty traders would benefit, i.e. a significant increase from the initially planned two million beneficiaries. And this is for all the 36 States and the FCT.”