The Presidency has disclosed its plans as regards implementation of the N500 billion social welfare programme, explaining that one million extremely poor Nigerians will benefit from a monthly stipend of N5,000.
According to the Presidency, the payment of the stipend and other five social interventions which include provision of one meal a day to school pupils in some select states will commence once the National Assembly has approved the 2016 budget. According to a statement issued by the office of the Vice President, a total of N60 billion would be directly transferred to the one million extremely poor Nigerians, this is in accordance to the President Buhari’s vision of building human capital.
The social intervention scheme also includes other elements such as creation of 5,000 direct jobs, which will involve training and subsequent deployment of unemployed graduates as teachers in their communities while prospecting for jobs in their chosen field.
Also, the scheme features a youth employment plan which will see to the training of 370,000 non-graduate youths in different skills and vocational programmes. According to Mr. Adeolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant (Media) in the office of the Vice-President, “The recruitment of beneficiaries into the volunteer teaching jobs and the skill acquisition training scheme for non-graduates would be done on state basis, including the FCT and opened to all Nigerians of different shades.”
The scheme also plans a micro credit scheme where one million Nigerians, mostly small scale traders, artisans and market women, would get a one-time soft loan of N60,000 each through the Bank of Industry.
Included in the scheme also is the free education plan for students of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, where government will pay tuition for 100,000 students.
Akande, speaking on the determination of the Buhari-led administration to positively impact the capacity of Nigerians through unprecedented intervention said “Even economic historians now say that not only is the half a trillion Naira vote unprecedented, but it is also the greatest service ever done to the Nigerian state and people by any federal government administration.”
He noted that the six social safety plans would reduce high level of poverty and vulnerabilities, while also increasing Nigeria’s Human Development Index on the global UN rankings. “The President’s vision is to increase investments in human capital to guarantee security for all, employment and improved well-being of the people".
Mr. Akande on the payment of the N5,000 mostly stipend to the one million extremely poor Nigerians explained that the beneficiaries will receive the cash deposit directly through a payment system that is being worked out. Adding that the Presidency is working closely with the World Bank and the Bill Gates Foundation to develop an efficient payment system.