By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
The Presidency on today clarified that the N5000 stipend electoral promise will still be paid to the vulnerable and poor Nigerians by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The clarification came against the backdrop of misconception of President Buhari’s declaration in Saudi Arabia at the weekend that unemployed graduates would not be paid for doing nothing.
According to the President, government would rather concentrate on the development of infrastructure and other incentives in order to attract investments and boost employment.
The Presidency therefore insisted that Buhari’s statement only related to unemployed graduates and not the vulnerable Nigerians.
It stressed that the 2016 Budget which has been submitted to the National Assembly has made an an allocation of half a trillion naira for social investment.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, who made the clarification in an interview with State House Correspondents in Abuja, said President Muhammadu Buhari never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5000.
His words: “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 500 billion which is half a trillion naira, close to about 20 per cent of the entire budget, there are six social safety net programmes. And one of them is the conditional cash transfer where government is going to pay N5000 monthly to the vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians. That promise stands.
“The President never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5000; the President never made that promise and the government never made that claim that it will pay N5000 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 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 N5000. The N5000 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 okayed, one million extremely poor Nigerians will receive N5000 monthly.”