Monday 16 May 2016

Federal Govt unveils N500bn social welfare package to cushion effect of new fuel price

Federal Government of Nigeria
In a bid to cushion the harsh effect of the new price of petrol on the people, the Federal Government has unveiled a social investment package - N500 billion earmarked in the 2016 Budget for social welfare - designed to impact on the lives of over eight million Nigerians.

A statement by the media spokesperson to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Mr. Laolu Akande, in Abuja yesterday stated: “All together the federal government would be directly impacting the lives of more than eight million Nigerians in different social spending that would provide succour and be a ready-made palliative to ordinary Nigerians.”

Giving a breakdown of the interventions and palliatives, Akande said that there would be “the direct payment of N5,000 monthly to one million extremely poor Nigerians for 12 months as provided in the 2016 budget for which N68.7 billion has been appropriated.”

Similarly, the government has made available a “direct provision of very soft loans/cash payments to market women, men and traders, including artisans and agriculture workers.
“This would be for a total of 1.76m Nigerians, without the requirement for conventional collateral. Some of the traders will likely get about N60,000.
“A total of N140.3 billion has already been appropriated for this in the budget”.
A further breakdown showed there would be payment of between N23,000 and N30,000 monthly to 500,000 unemployed graduates who would be trained, paid and deployed to work as volunteer teachers, public health officers and extension service workers, among other responsibilities.
“They would also be given electronic devices to empower them technologically both for their assignments and beyond,” Akande stated.
According to the media aide, “100,000 artisans would also be trained, for which N191.5 billion has been set aside for this in the passed budget.”

He also said that at least 5.5 million Nigerian primary school children starting first in 18 states in each of the geopolitical zones would be fed for 200 school days under the free Homegrown School Feeding Programme. For this, N93.1 billion has been appropriated in the 2016 budget.
In this same vein, “100,000 tertiary students in science technology engineering and maths (STEM) plus education, will benefit from the N5.8 billion education grant in the budget”.
Akande stated that the payments would be made directly to the students.

He stated further that these measures would start in a matter of weeks and would lift the ordinary man from the pangs of economic hardship and poverty.

Credit: This Day

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