The Federal Government on Friday reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that the country remained united and that all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religion or political affiliation, regard themselves as one.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the Traditional Ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Osinbajo visited the state to promote the TraderMoni and MarketMoni at Eke-Awka Market in Awka and Ochanja Market in Onitsha.
He was accompanied on the visit by the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, Senattor Andy Uba and Chief George Muoghalu, the National Auditor of APC, among others.
He said: “We are all brothers regardless of religion, ethnicity or political affiliation.
“We want to make sure that even in terms of execution of projects, we are fair and just, which is the commitment that the president has made.
“The President is committed to ensuring that he brings this to fulfillment.”
On the TraderMoni and MarketMoni scheme, the vice president explained that it was a Federal Government project where micro credits were provided to the lowest in the rank of the trading value chain.
He said: “Many of them are not given such facility or loan because nobody is sure that they will pay back or not.
“Only the Government can guarantee that kind of facility and it is the Bank of Industry that actually administers the loan.”
Osinbajo, who noted that the scheme had practically gone round the country, disclosed that about 20,000 traders have benefitted from TraderMoni in Anambra while some have received the MarketMoni.
He expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the Federal Government’s Home-Grown-School-Feeding programme in the state.
He added: “As a matter of fact, we visited a lady in Awka, one of the cooks, who happened to be best cook of the programme in the community.”
The vice president, who later proceeded to the Asaba to inspect the Second Niger Bridge, again reassured that the Federal Government was committed to completing the project and the access roads.
According to him, we want to make sure that we complete it because of its economic benefit to the zone and the entire country.
He said: “The Second Niger Bridge is among the five projects where money has actually been set aside under a Presidential funding initiative to ensure completion.
“So, we have no fears that it will be completed as promised and scheduled.”
He commended Achebe for his leadership style not just as the Chairman of the South-East Traditional Rulers Council, but also an individual, whose statements are conciliatory and unite rather than divide the country.
In his remarks, Governor Willie Obiano, who lauded the Federal Government’s TraderMoni and MarketMoni initiatives, said they would encourage the culture of repayment of loans and ensure prosperity of traders.
Obiano further commended the Federal Government’s zeal towards the ongoing Second Niger Bridge and the completed Zik Mausoleum.
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, who welcomed the vice president to the commercial city reminded the Federal Government on the need to set up a Board of Trustees to manage the affairs of Zik Mausoleum.
The monarch said the Federal Government’s TraderMoni and MarketMoni initiatives should also be extended to local markets in Onitsha, noting that they contribute to the economy.
He said: “Ochanja Market has become a kind of international market of sort, but then we have our own local market women, who also need to benefit from these initiatives.”