While speaking in Saudi Arabia during an interactive session, President Buhari said he would rather build up infrastructure in schools, and empower agriculture and mining so that every able-bodied person can go and get work than to give N5,000 to unemployed youths.
Hear his words:
This largesse N5,000 for the unemployed, I have got a slightly different priority, I would rather do the infrastructure, the school and correct them and empower agriculture, mining so that every able-bodied person can go and get work instead of giving N5,000 to those who don’t work.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had promised to give unemployed youths in the country a monthly stipend of N5,000 during the 2015 general election campaign. This promise has however generated several controversies.
In November, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker, senator Philip Aduda, raised the issue in the national assembly challenging the presidency to fulfill the promise. Senator Kabir Marafa, an APC lawmaker, responded to him accusing him of wanting to give the APC-led government a bad name.
This is something that involves millions of Nigerians and you just sit down through a motion and say the senate should urge the president to pay N5,000 to unemployed Nigerians. He should know more than many Nigerians. So, if you want to give APC a bad name, this is one of the most-wicked ways of doing it. Nigerians are no fools and very soon, the facts will emerge.
Speaking on the issues earlier in the year, the minister of labour and employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said the promise was meant for indolent people. He said the Federal Government would ensure that the youths were trained in various skills and programmes to justify the money.
We won’t pay N5,000 for people to be indolent. No country in the world would pay people to go home and sleep and collect cash. So, Nigeria would not be an exception.
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi (SAN), has revealed the challenge of the Nigerian Government in executing its plans of giving unemployed Nigerian graduates a monthly stipend of N5,000 is due to lack of data to show the number of Nigerian youths that are unemployed.
Before we got to where we are there is no data anywhere. There is no data of the unemployed. In fact, there is no data of the employed. It’s a bad situation but as we talk with you, we have experts working on the software and the various things which we have discussed with them on how to capture the data of the employed and the unemployed. It’s a bad situation.