Transparency International in Nigeria has described the federal government’s TraderMoni scheme as vote buying.
Speaking on a Channels Television programme, Awwal Rafsanjani, chairman of the anti-corruption organisation, said the policy was ill-advised and ill-timed.
TraderMoni is a collateral-free loan for petty traders and artisans. It is under the federal government’s National Social Investment Programme (Ń-SIP).
Rafsanjani said the N10,000 loan under the guise of TraderMoni to small-scale traders is an abuse of public funds.
“It was not a part and parcel of the manifesto of the ruling party and it is not in Nigerian constitution,” he said.
“It was not done three years ago. It was only started close to election time. So, the allegation by many Nigerians that this is clearly a case of vote buying using public funds goes contrary to our constitution and to having a free and fair election.
“That is why the Independent National Electoral Commission itself has seen this danger. The vote buying we are seeing has transformed to have more official recognition through the acts that unfortunately we are seeing performed by some of the agencies using public funds.
“This is despite the statement by the president that public funds will not be used for his re-election campaign. But this, unfortunately, is contrary to what Nigerians are seeing.
“Clearly, this is vote buying, as far as I am concerned.”
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