Yesterday, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, announced that one million Nigerians would receive N5000 monthly payments through its Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of its Social Investment Programmes.
We don’t intend to sound like we are confused, after all, we have been asking the administration to alleviate the penurious effects of the economic hardships that have befallen Nigerians. This is good no? This is sort of the social security payments that other countries give to their citizens right?
We can’t possibly be so ungrateful as to point out how very inadequate 5,000 is to meet any of the needs of the one million beneficiaries it intends to cater to. No, we won’t point that out. In fact, the assurance of the good will that must have motivated these payments is enough to help us turn a blind eye to the obvious lack of censorial figures that will help determine the truly needy in each State.
What is however too mind-boggling to shake-off and overlook is the pure mathematics of the payments. Here look:
So we pay NGN 5,000 to 1 million people monthly; that’s NGN 5 billion.
Now, 5 billion Naira monthly throughout 2017:
60 billion Naira. Let that sink. But keep in mind that we haven’t added any estimates of the amounts that will be required top mobilise the payments of these funds: relation officers, bank charges, general logistics which will almost certainly also run into billions.
Still, because this is definitely a well-meaning initiative that will possibly touch lives, we won’t cast aspersions.
Even we cannot help but wonder which capital infrastructure can be invested in within the same year that will definitely generate 5,000 or more to the same beneficiaries through proper empowerment.