Buhari Aproves Whooping N65bn for Social Investment Programme

The Federal Government has directed the immediate release of N65 billion for the take-off of its National Social Investment Programme.

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, made the disclosure to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ahmed stated that the N65 billion was part of the N150 billion approved by the steering committee of the programme.

N500 billion was earmarked in the 2016 appropriation law for the implementation of the social investment programme.

President Buhari also listed the programme as one of the reasons he is seeking for loan.

Ahmed said: “On the social investment Programme, what we are doing today is to tell Nigerians that the programme is starting.

“We have approval from the steering committee in sum of N150 billion.

“So far N25 billion has been released into the account and there is another N40 billion that is in the process of being released into the account.

“Remember we said implementation would be done in stages; as the states are ready for each of the programme, they are added into each of the scheme.

“The School Feeding Programme has started in some states like Kaduna, Osun; the Federal Government is only adding its resources to it.

“The Federal Government will handle from primary 1 to 3, while the states will handle from 4 to 6.

“The ministry presented a memo to council for notation and implementation on the progress of national roll out of the social investment programme.”

The minister said the programme was in four parts.

“The first is the homegrown school feeding Programme which is targeting 5.5 million primary school people in all the states of the federation from primary 1-3.

“The second is a job creation programme aimed at training 500,000 university graduates, who would be deployed to work in their local communities as teachers, agriculture workers and health support workers”, he added.

Ahmed said the graduands would be receiving a monthly stipend of N30,000 monthly for a period of two years.

The minister said the third scheme was the Conditional Cash Transfer where one million care givers would be given N5,000 monthly for a period of two years.

She said: “Focus has been given to the extremely poor and vulnerable in our society and special emphasis is being placed to providing as many as possible in the North Eastern part of the country where a lot of Internally Displaced Persons.’’

The fourth is the Enterprise Promotion Programme, which is essentially the loan scheme which will be handled by the Bank of Industry.

Ahmed added that 1.66 million people, made up of market women, traders, artisans, small businesses, youths would be given loan ranging from N10,000 to N100,000.

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