Not less than one million traders and artisans are billed to get a soft loan of N60,000 each this year as part of the safety nets for the poor in Budget 2016.
Senior Special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang confirmed that the president had written a letter to the National Assembly on the budget which was read by the presiding officers during plenary on Monday January 18.
A top government official disclosed to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday that the President in a bid to ensure the successful take off of the social protection programmes promised by his administration, has approved the appointment of Mrs. Maryam Uwais as his Special Adviser for Social Protection Plan.
The official said the 2016 Budget proposal is loaded with provisions for the implementation of the social programmes.
Thus, the reason why “the Presidency is seeing the current controversy in the Senate regarding two versions of the proposed budget as a distraction and a storm in a tea cup.” he said.
According to him asides the soft loan provision, there are five other social investment plans of the Buhari administration already provided for in the budget with about N500 billion to be spent, which is nine per cent of the total budget.
These schemes includes:
- The teach Nigeria scheme where the Federal Government plans to directly hire 500,000 graduates as teachers. Under the scheme government will hire, train and deploy the graduates to help beef up the quality of teachers in public schools across the nation. The teachers will be picked on state by state basis.
- The youth employment agency where between 300,000 to 500,000 non graduate youths will be taken through in skill acquisition programmes and vocational training, for which they will be paid stipends during the training, with the plan that they would then become self-productive members of their communities. The selection of the youths for this scheme will also be on state by state basis.
- The conditional cash transfer where government will pay directly N5,000 per month to one million extremely poor Nigerians on the condition that they have children enrolled in school and are immunised.
- The homegrown school feeding in which the federal government will serve one meal a day to primary school pupils and in many cases expected to be done in collaboration with state governments.
- The free education for science, technology and mathematics students where tuition will be paid for about 100,000 STEM students in tertiary institutions in the country.The scheme is expected to cost government about N5 billion.
He said the programme will be supported by international bodies as the Imperial College of the United Kingdom among other international agencies.