With only seven months left in 2016, the office of Nigeria’s Vice President, Mr. Yemi Osinbajo, announced again on Saturday that President Muhammadu Buhari’s social investment programmes would be directly affecting at least eight million Nigerians this year.
The Senior Special Assistant for Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, who spoke with journalists in Abuja gave new details and a breakdown of the interventions and palliatives, some of which he said would be starting in a matter of weeks.
The Vice President who is in charge of President Buhari’s economic agenda has been making similar promises for almost a year now since he and Mr. Buhari were sworn in last year May.
According to Mr. Akande, new details include the direct payment of N5000 monthly to one million extremely poor Nigerians for 12 months as provided for in the 2016 budget for which N$68.7 billion has been appropriated, the direct provision of very soft loan -cash for market women, men and traders, including artisans and Agric workers, which would be for a total of 1.76 million Nigerians, without the requirement for conventional collateral.
Mr. Akande said some of the traders will likely get about N60,000, adding that total sum of N140.3B has already been appropriated for this in the budget
Others details are as followed:
“payment of between N23,000 to N30,000 per month to 500,000 unemployed graduates who would be trained, paid and deployed to work as volunteer teachers, public health officers and extension service workers among other responsibilities.
“They would also be given electronic devices to empower them technologically both for their assignments and beyond
-similarly 100,000 artisans would also be trained and paid
N191.5B has been set aside for this in the passed budget.
“At least 5.5 million Nigerian primary school children -ie starting first in
18 states-three per geopolitical zones-would be fed for 200 school days under the free Homegrown School Feeding Programme.
N93.1B has been appropriated for this in the 2016 budget.
“100,000 tertiary students in Science Technology Engineering & Maths-STEM, plus Education will partake in the N5.8B already provided for this education grant in the budget. This payment would also be paid directly to the students.
“When added together this year alone, more than 8 million Nigerians would be benefiting from the Social Investment budget”.
Mr. Akande said the N500 billion social investement programmes of the Buhari administration is a ready made palliative to lift Nigerians from poverty and economic hardship.
“Long before now the Presidency has made adequate arrangements in the 2016 budget to ensure that Nigerians are lifted from poverty and hardship,” the spokesperson stated.
This will not only assuage the current pains arising from the new fuel pricing regime, but will provide ongoing social safety nets for over 8 million Nigerians this year alone, according to Akande.
He added that this is beside the jobs that would be created by the infrastructural projects that would be restored and the new ones that would soon be taking off.
He said: “the Buhari presidency is keen to ensure that Nigerians are lifted and that if necessary on an ongoing basis palliatives measures would always been considered to address the conditions of the people.”
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