The presidency made it known yesterday that million poverty-stricken Nigerians will certainly be given N5,000 on a monthly basis for nutrition.
This was revealed in a statement provided by the senior special aide to the president on media, Garba Shehu.
Shehu said, “Contrary to assertions by a faction of the opposition Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), the president’s energy and focus are on changing the life of Nigerians, with a view to making it better than he met it.
“For example, one million poor and vulnerable Nigerians will soon receive monthly payments of N5,000 to allow them live decently,” he said, noting that the programme was designed to recognize the need for ordinary, poor Nigerians to also benefit from the resources of the country.
“President Buhari believes that the resources of our country should be spent also on the vast majority of our people who are poor and vulnerable, and not squandered by government officials or the elite,” he stated.
Giving more details how the government hopes to achieve this without much hassle, Shehu revealed that this social investment plan is already provided for in the 2016 Budget and that the World Bank had begun conducting a social register on poor and vulnerable people in Nigeria in the four poorest communities in the four poorest local government areas.
He said; “About seven to eight states have been completed already. Now the Presidency is working with the World Bank and the Bill Gates Foundation on how to identify the people to be paid the N5,000 and how they will be paid.
“This is the first time that the federal government of this country will be spending this much on social welfare for poor, bearing in mind that the money will go directly to the beneficiaries.”
He also revealed government’s plan to provide soft loans to one million traders, market men, artisans and so on.
According to the presidential spokesman, “these are not the kind of loans that require collaterals that the people can’t afford or provide. No. The loans will come through the Bank of Industry, but this has also been included in the budget.
“In addition to all these, 500,000 unemployed graduates will be directly employed as volunteer teachers but paid by the FG to teach in their communities while they search for better jobs in their areas of expertise. 370,000 unemployed youths will also be trained in skills acquisition and paid while doing so.
“These are just some aspects of the change that Nigerians voted for, a change that is happening and which will soon be felt by Nigerians in every nook and cranny of our country. “
He remarked that Nigerians are noted for our inner strength and ability to triumph, and urged them to employ such character in overcoming the present hardships as better days are near at hand.
“These are just the darkest days before the dawn. The change Nigerians voted has indeed begun,” he said.
While urging Nigerians to be patient with the Buhari administration, Shehu said: “Change is a process. Change does not happen overnight. Change can be inconvenient. Change sometimes comes with pain. Over the past year, the government has been working night and day to deliver on its promise of change to Nigerians, and the painful process is still ongoing,” he said.