Opinion: Is The N5000 stipend a necessity?

by Otolorin Olabode

Would the N5000 be enough for the poor? Would it serve its purpose and live up to its promises? Or would it go down like other investment programmes organised by past administrations? These questions need to be asked of the Social Investment Programme(SIP) inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari. Nigerians can still vividly remember Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned irrelevant and now moribund programmes like YouWIN! (Youth With Innovation in Nigeria) and SURE-P(Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program) which failed to benefit most Nigerians. Therefore, when President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned SIP in Abuja few weeks back, many were quick to point out he was merely fulfilling one of his campaign promises.

Then in 2015, Muhammadu Buhari during his campaign then as a candidate of the All Progressive Congress made a promise to give the poor and the unemployed a monthly stipend of N5000 stipend, empower many and create millions of job opportunities. Then, few were optimistic He would fulfil them. Two years down the line, President Muhammadu Buhari is one step away from fulfilling one of those promises -The N5000 stipend to the poor and vulnerable Nigerians. But Nigerians are asking, “Does the country have a database for these people”. How will there be a means of identification for these people? Trust Nigerians, everyone in a local government could turn up and disguise as been poor and vulnerable just to have a share of the “National cake”. Just as there are ghost workers in the Nation’s workforce, won’t there be any element of this in the SIP?

However, Nigerians should try to be logical here; Should we continue to feed the poor with fish or rather teach them how to fish? How long will the SIP go on before it packs up like other similar programmes by previous administrations? As the popular columnist, Steve Osuji said “The poor need work, not dole” President Buhari needs to realise that N5000 now is a meagre amount to be given to people now in the face of the nation’s economic problems. It would be good enough if President Buhari can organise empowerment programmes for these people through which they can gain a lot of skills which they could use to generate a lot of revenue and income for themselves, family and the community at large. This I think should be the right step rather than doling out N5000 to people who have hands and legs and could be of judicious use to the nation.

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Otolorin Olabode is a student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. He is a Creative writer and also a seasoned content writer. He handles Latest9ja, a news and entertainment website. He can be reached via Email: [email protected] or through +2348064717949. He can also be followed on Instagram: @ viewsfromthebod .

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