N5,000 stipend is for extremely poor not unemployed graduates – Presidency

Media Aide to VP, Laolu Akande
Media Aide to VP, Laolu Akande

By Ibrahim Ali                    President Muhammadu Buhari never promised to pay N5, 000 monthly stipends to unemployed youths in the country during the 2015 presidential campaign, the Presidency has said.
Senior Media Aide to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, made the clarification on Monday during a chat with State House correspondents in Abuja.
However, he noted that a provision N500 billion had been made in the 2016 budget to execute six social safety net programmes.
According to him, a conditional cash transfer where the Federal Government would pay N5, 000 monthly to vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians was one of such safety nets programmes.
President Buhari had said recent while abroad that rather than paying unemployed youths N5, 000 monthly, he would generate employment.
Akande, assured that the N5, 000 stipend to the extremely poor would be implemented once the 2016 budget is passed by 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.
“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 will 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.
“Five hundred thousand 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 youth 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 stipend, which is already in the budget, is for the vulnerable Nigerians and the extremely poor.
“Once the budget is okay, one million extremely poor Nigerians will receive N5,000 monthly,” Akande said.

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