Nigeria introduces social investment programmes

Timothy Choji, Abuja

The Nigerian government is to introduce six social investment programmes that will improve the lives of its citizens.

Senior Special Adviser to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Media, Mr Laolu Akande disclosed this to journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mr Akande said the programmes, which cut across all classes of people in the society have already been captured in the 2016 budget and would be supported by the World Bank and other international agencies.

N60bn Package

The Senior Special Adviser, who said small businesses would receive a boost of N60bn from the Nigerian government, announced that the programmes would be coordinated by the office of Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

According to the Senior Special Adviser, “one million Nigerians have been earmarked to receive N60, 000 each as soft loan from the micro credit scheme.”

He said other programmes to be introduced alongside the one for businessmen included the ‘Teach Nigeria’ programme, where half a million graduates would be recruited, trained and deployed to public schools as teachers.

“500,000 graduates would be recruited and trained by the Federal government to become teachers. They will then be deployed to public schools to teach,” he affirmed.

Mr Akande listed other programmes to include a youth empowerment programme for non-graduates, that will be trained in various skills and empowered to start up various vocations.

A conditional cash transfer for about one million extremely poor and vulnerable, who would receive a grant of five thousand naira monthly.

“Like you have heard the Vice President state over and over again, we have more than 110 million of such people. Under the conditional cash transfer this year, government is going to be giving N5000 cash every month, to one million vulnerable Nigerians,” he said.

Others include the ‘Home Grown School Feeding Programme,’ aimed at giving of one nutritious meal daily to primary school pupils across the country, to encourage enrolment, as well as a free education programme for students of Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for one hundred thousand students of tertiary institutions of learning across the country.

“The food stuff to be used for the feeding programme will all be sourced locally, none will be imported,” he assured the public.

Budgetary Provision

He said the social investment programmes had already been captured in the 2016 budget and would be supported by the World Bank and other International agencies.

“For some of these programmes, we already have support from the World Bank, which is very involved in the Conditional Cash Transfer. The Partnership for Child Development is also involved in the home grown school feeding because they have done it before in other parts of the world,” Akande explained.

The Senior Special Assistant said some of the programmes would provide social protection for the disadvantaged citizens of the country and they would all start this year.