The Federal Government has unveiled measures which it said would directly impact the lives of more than 8 million Nigerians in different social investment as provided in 2016 budget spending to provide succour and be a ready-made palliative to ordinary Nigerians. It was designed to cushion the harsh of the last week fuel price hike.
This disclosure was made by the Senior Special Assistant for Media & Publicity to the President, Mr. Laolu Akande, in an interaction with the press in Abuja.
He gave new details and a breakdown of the interventions and palliatives, some of which he said would be starting in a matter of weeks thus, 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$68.7billion has been appropriated.
There is also the direct provision of very soft loan -cash for market women, men and traders, including artisans and Agric workers.
This would be for a total of 1.76million Nigerians, without the requirement for conventional collateral. Some of the traders will likely get about N60, 000. A total sum of N140.3billion has already been appropriated for this in the budget
According to the statement , 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 just as 100,000 artisans would also be trained and paid N191.5billion has been set aside for this in the passed budget.
Also, 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.
N93.1 billion has been appropriated for this in the 2016 budget.
One hundred thousand tertiary students in science technology engineering & maths (STEM), plus education will partake in the N5.8billion already provided for this education grant in the budget. This payment would also be paid directly to the students.
According to the Federal Government, when added together this year alone, more than 8 million Nigerians would be benefiting from the Social Investment budget.
Akande who works from the Office of the Vice President said the N500 billion social investment 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.
Said he: “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.”