Have you gotten alert? Have you got alert? This rent the air as people rushed to the point of registration recently in Nyanya, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
A greater number of people, particularly, women and children, were noticed rushing to partake in the Federal Government’s largesse known as Tradermoni. Those desperate to benefit from what many described as “national cake” included farmers, market women, civil servants, students (majority of who were underage) and a few other lay-abouts, mainly of the menfolk.
In just five minutes the queue stretched to about a kilometre when it was learnt that that day was the closing date for registration. It was on a Saturday. Tradermoni was launched on September 3, 2018, to boost micro and small scale businesses; petty trading and commercial activities by lending them a paltry N10,000 at the first instance but repayable within six months.
Any of the beneficiaries that pays back the loan within the stipulated period would qualify for N15,000. After which she would be qualified for another N20,000 with an interest of N250 for six months.
From the beginning, government specified that the money was a loan not a largesse, but many misconstrued as charity, a step the government is taking to ameliorate their sufferings through a gift of N10,000. With this wrong perception, they mobilised all the family members – father, mother and children – to the centre to partake in the donation.
Some of the people anxious to benefit from the government’s “generosity” said it was a way to lessen their burden as schools would soon resume. A woman, Joy, said: “I have seven children and they are all schooling. Thank God for providing the money this way. Some of these children, (pointing at them) would use it to pay their school fees. That is why they are on the queue.”
Another respondent denied that she would have to pay for the money, arguing that it is the government’s largesse: “How can we pay back? How are we going to pay back the money to the government? Does the government need it? Let me collect it first before thinking of paying back.”
Mama Ebuka, was busy lamenting and cursing her neighbour who went, registered and received alert without informing her: “Look at what my neighbour did to me? I cannot do this to her. Do you know that she had gone and collected her money without telling me? When I learnt of it and told her she said that she had gone already. Now, today is the last day for registration. Can I do this to her?”
Sule Agbo said he heard that the money would be paid back: “I heard that the money is a loan. No wahala. I will use it and return the money for more money. There is no problem. I just need the money to sort out a few things. My wife has since collected and I have told her that she would return the money.”