The Presidency has on Sunday revealed plans to implement its N500 billion social welfare program, stating that one million extremely poor Nigerians would be direct beneficiaries of the N5,000 monthly cash transfer as soon as the budget is approved.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media in the Office of the Vice President, Adeolu Akande, he disclosed that a total of N60 billion would be directly transferred to one million extremely poor Nigerians in accordance to President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of building human capital.
This welfare program is also part of the Federal Government’s other five social intervention schemes that include the provision of one meal per day to school pupils in some selected states, and the 500,000 direct jobs, which will see unemployed graduates being trained and deployed as volunteer teachers in their communities, while still prospecting for jobs in their chosen professions.
“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,” he said.
Also, the current government is putting together a youth employment plan which will see the training of 370,000 non-graduate youths in different skills and vocational programmes, Akande revealed.
He also disclosed that one million Nigerians, mostly small scale traders, artisans and market women, through micro finance would get a one-time soft loan of N60,000 each through the Bank of Industry.
Still as part of the five social intervention schemes, the current administration plans to pay tuition fee for 100,000 students of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Akande stressed the administration’s determination to positively impact the capacity of Nigerians through the unprecedented intervention, explaining that at no time in the nation’s budgetary history had the Federal Government made a specific vote of such volume for social welfare.
“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 remarked.
The Presidency expressed hopes that these six social safety plans would reduce high levels of poverty and vulnerabilities, while also increasing Nigeria’s Human Development Index on the global UN rankings.