Presidency says ‘unemployed graduates’ are different from ‘vulnerable and poor Nigerians’

President Muhammadu Buhari, says he would not renege on the social intervention programme promised to Nigerians by his administration.

The Presidency said on Friday, that the federal government has no intention of abandoning the free school feeding scheme, the training of unemployed graduates and the payment of monthly stipend to ‘poor and extremely vulnerable’ Nigerians.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, clarified the misconceptions and distortions surrounding the social intervention programme of the All Progressives Congress-led government.

The six aspects of the social intervention programme include the Teach Nigeria Scheme; the Youth Employment Agency; Conditional Cash Transfer; Micro Credit Scheme, Home Grown School Feeding and Free Education Scheme for Science Students.

To give some clarity, Akande said: “I don’t know of any dumping of the school feeding programme. The free school feeding programme is going forward. Don’t forget that the programme has already been budgeted for in the 2016 Budget currently before the National Assembly.”

“The budget for 2016 which has been submitted to the National Assembly has made an allocation of half a trillion naira, the first time in the history of this country’s budget where you have that huge chunk of money allocated for social investment. In that N500bn, close to about 10 per cent of the entire budget, there are six social safety net programmes.”

“One of them is the Conditional Cash Transfer where government is going to pay N5,000 monthly to the vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians. That promise stands.”

“The President never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5,000; the President never made that promise and the government never made that claim that it would pay N5,000 to unemployed graduates.”

“The programme for unemployed graduates is the direct creation of half a million teaching jobs so that they will be trained; 500, 000 unemployed graduates will be trained to teach and they will be deployed to teach, while they are looking for their career paths or jobs. That still stands.”

“In addition to that, there is also a scheme to train 370, 000 non-graduate youths for skill acquisition and vocational training. During the time of that training, they will also be paid. So, the President did not say that he would be giving unemployed graduates N5, 000.”

“The N5,000 monthly which is already in the budget is for the vulnerable Nigerians and the extremely poor, and this year by the grace of God, once the budget is okay, one million extremely poor Nigerians will receive N5, 000 monthly.”

“Homegrown school feeding programme will commence in public primary schools this year to provide adequate nutrition to school children, promote local farming, boost agriculture and create jobs and wealth locally.”

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