The All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government, yesterday, said the payment of the N5,000 stipend to the unemployed Nigerian youths will commence next year.
Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalong, revealed this yesterday in Abuja when he paid a condolence visit to the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at the national secretariat in Abuja on the demise of Prince Abubakar Audu, the late governorship candidate of the party in Kogi State election. He expressed regrets for FG’s inability to start the payment this year, explaining that it was not included in the year’s budget.
“I would want the youth to understand that every promise must be backed up by budgetary provision and our promise to pay N5000 is not contained in the 2015 budget. So definitely, it is going to begin in 2016 as we have made budgetary allocations for that,” he said.
We are committed to the campaign promises of creating jobs, providing wealth and combating poverty. We have embedded in our manifesto, things that we are translating to reality. We are busy reviewing some of the youth empowerment programmes that are ongoing, to ensure that they are more viable and people oriented. We are also looking at the possibility of realigning some of them to our vision so that in the final analysis, it can add value to the people”.
He added that a definite programme of orientation for the youth in Nigeria has to be put in place seeing that the youths have been frustrated for so long.
They have lost confidence in the system and we need to build that back. In not too long a time, I will be hosting a stakeholders summit so that we can reason together so that we can grow their confidence in order for them to benefit from these laudable ideas,” he said.
Dalong, who spoke with journalists, assured his audience that the APC government would also create more jobs to fulfill its campaign promises. The minister also said that he would soon convene a stakeholders meeting to help re-orientate Nigerian youths.
In an earlier remark, the National Chairman of APC, Chief Oyegun, expressed his confidence and optimism in the performance of Dalong as minister for Youths and Sports.
President Muhammadu Buhari during his 2015 presidential electioneering promised that all poor unemployed Nigerians will be receiving a monthly allowance of N5,000 under his leadership. But since taking over powers, there are little hopes that the promise will ever be implemented, especially as the senate shouted down the motion when it was raised last week Wednesday during their plenary session. Philip Aduda, (PDP, FCT), who sponsored the motion was not even allowed to explain the motion before he was shouted down by the house. Also, the noise of “no no” rented the air when Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, attempted to second the motion which led to a rowdy session.
In reaction to this development, Nigerians took to social media to air their disappointments and to demand the implementation of the payment of the promised allowance. Members of the People’s Democratic Party also criticized the APC government, calling them liars.
It is supposedly in response to these protests that the Federal Government came forward to reassure the youths that they are in the process of creating an enabling financial environment for the implementation of the promise.
According to TalkofNaija, in a statement issued by APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it has devised creative means not only to pay the money but also to fulfill its other campaign promises to Nigerians. Below are excerpts of the statement:
“Contrary to the Misinformation being peddled by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the Buhari administration is poised to lift millions of Nigerians out of extreme poverty by providing social protection and safety nets with another N2.5 trillion Special Intervention Fund. Now, the Buhari administration has been busy putting into place measures that will make it possible to start the implementation of this project.
Such measures include the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) “We are happy to inform Nigerians that as at the end of September 2015, over N1.4 trillion – which hitherto was lying unproductive in various commercial banks – has been recovered and paid into the TSA,
Had the PDP not sacrificed the truth on the altar of political expediency, it would have realized that the APC never at any time indicated it has reneged on its promise to pay N5,000 monthly to 25 million most vulnerable Nigerians. In our press statement of 30 August, 2015, we still reiterated our plan to redeem our campaign promises, including the social security payment policy despite the primitive looting of the treasury under the watch of the PDP.
It is therefore astonishing that the same PDP, which is becoming more and more infamous for its penchant for peddling half truths and sensationalizing every issue, will rush to the press to celebrate the figment of its imagination that the APC will not fulfill its campaign promise regarding the payment,”
Also read: “Buhari’s Gov’t Will Not Stifle Or Abridge Rights To Free Speech” – Lai Mohammed
Moreover, this is what Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s media aide, Laolu Akande said on the matter:
“Work is ongoing on various aspects of the implementation of that social investment plan, including the identification of those that will benefit from it. Very soon, we shall be concluding work on that; that is a very important aspect of the programme.
The plan of the government is to start as much as possible in the area of social investment, and conditional cash transfer is part of it. It is the plan of the government to explore how to start this with the 2016 budget.”
Now, the big question yet to be answered by the FG is how to determine who and who to receive the monthly N5,000 allowance. How will they compile the names and what will be the criteria to qualify as a “poor unemployed Nigerian”. Does it include the young secondary school leavers yet to attend university, the undergraduates, the graduate job applicants, the retrenched, all categories of ‘hoi polloi’ who roam the streets of Nigeria? Who???
Please if you’ve got the answer, you could help the FG out so as to quicken the implementation of the policy because we cant wait to have it in place!