FG’s social investment programmes have 6 schemes, says Akande

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Abuja  –  There are six schemes in the proposed social investment programme of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, says Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande.
Akande stated this when he addressed state House Press corps in Abuja on Tuesday.
“The Social Investment Programme, which is the social protection plan, has six schemes.
“The first is “teach Nigeria where the Federal Government (FG) is going to directly hire about half a million graduates’’ to be trained under a crash programme and deployed to public schools.
Under the programme, he said, the FG would pay for the training for the graduates to become teachers adding that the scheme would accommodate NCE holders.
Akande named the second as the Youth Empowerment and Employment Programme which would make provision for young people that were not graduates.
“It is going to give them opportunities for skills acquisition, vocational training to enable them to take care of their own lives.
“The third and the most popular is the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT).
“The CCT is for those Nigerians that are considered to be extremely poor, the vulnerable people’’, he said, adding that no fewer than 110 million of such people existed in the country.
Akande explained that under the CCT, the government would give N5, 000 monthly to one million vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians in 2016.
He said that the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, being the fourth scheme, was planned to serve one very descent nutritious meal for primary school pupils across the country.
He said while the FG would pay for the feeding, it would encourage the state governments to collaborate.
He expressed gratitude that Kaduna state had commenced the scheme while Lagos state was also planning to do a similar programme.
“When you have states coming together with the FG, we can actually do more’’, he said, adding that the meals would be served with food grown in the country for sustainability.
“It is going to be home grown. Not only will it help the pupils to become even better students, it will also help to draw school enrolment, it will also mean that the local economy of the states will pick up, because a considerable amount of money will be spent on that.’’
The spokesman mentioned the fifth scheme as the Free Education Scheme for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics “to reach about 100,000 of such students.’’
“The final programme is the Micro-credit scheme, where in addition to over N200 billion that CBN has in place for small scale and micro enterprises, the FG is going to bring N60 billion to give a one-time loan of N60,000 each to one million artisans and market men and women where you find them.
“So, when we talk about the social protection project, it is not just one thing, it is all of these programmes and many of them are going to be ongoing; some of them we will start on pilot schemes, but all these programmes will be started this year.
[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″] He said many of the programmes would be coordinated from the Office of the Vice President, working with the relevant ministers and ministries.
He said the micro credit scheme would be a one off soft loan to the beneficiaries for them to improve their trade.
He said government would bring together all the existing institutions for employment generation which would be coordinated by the office of the VP.
According to him, there might not be need to create another agency for that purpose adding that what the government needed to work on was to coordinate and pull all the resources together for effectiveness.
Akande added that the FG already had support for the programmes from the World Bank in the CCT and how to implement it.
He added that the Imperial College through its Partnership for Child Development (PCD), was involved in the Home Grown School Feeding programme.
“We do have expert support and collaboration from international agencies that have done it before and are helping us.’’
He acknowledged that there would be challenges in the implementation but they would not deter the FG from starting the programmes.
The spokesman said details of the specific plans, including the mode of selection of the beneficiaries, would be announced.
He, however, said that the administration was awaiting the outcome of the National Assembly’s debate on the budget to know what could be appropriated.
He said there was a proposal for N5billion for the free education component of the programme adding that the lives of one million poor Nigerians would be touched by the administration in 2016.
Akande said social registers would be opened in states where they had not existed to assist in the selection.
He added that deliberate efforts were being made to ensure that the programmes were executed based on the integrity of the administration devoid of partisanship (NAN)

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