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Government releases N25 billion for social investment scheme


Minister of  State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed

The Federal Government has released N25billion for the Social Investment Programme (SIP).This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed yesterday, while briefing State House correspondents over decisions taken by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The minister, who fielded questions with the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola and that of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, told newsmen that another N40billion was on the verge of being approved by the steering committee.

According to the minister, the SIP is divided into four parts for the purpose of creating jobs for the unemployed and will run till 2017.“On the Social Investment Programme, what we are doing today is to tell Nigerians that the programme is starting. We have N150 billion approval from the steering committee. 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.

“As at today, 11 states are fully ready to start and the first phase will feed 3.5 million school children.“The second is the job creation programme, which is aimed at preparing 500,000 university graduates. They will be equipped with devices containing information to train them as teachers, agricultural workers and also as health support workers.

“They will be deployed to work in their local community. They will be receiving a monthly stipend of N30, 000 monthly for a period of two years,” the minister added.Ahmed said: “The third is the Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT, where one million care givers will be given N5, 000 monthly for a period of two years.

“The focus has been given to the extremely poor and vulnerable in our society and special emphasis is being placed on the northern eastern part of the country where a lot of internally displaced persons are,” she said.

“The fourth part is the enterprise promotion where loans of up to N100, 000 would be given to 1.6million Nigerians, including market women, artisans, small business holders and traders through the Bank of Industry with a repayment period of three to six months and administration cost of five per cent.”

The minister also said that the school-feeding programme has started in some states like Kaduna and Osun.Other decisions by the council were the approval of the 215 megawatt Kaduna Power Plant and the construction of a sub-station to evacuate 40 megawatt of power from the Gurara Hydroelectric Power Plant Phase One to connect Kaduna and enable it to interconnect to Mamdo Transmission substation.

Fashola said that two approvals would assist in the completion of on-going projects that would add up to job creation. According to Fashola, the Kaduna plant is to contribute 40 megawatt extra into the national grid while the Gurara Phase 1 will help in expanding transmission across the country.

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Zainab Ahmed
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  • Anne Mumuney

    Every day we read about billions being released into our economy, but who is keeping account of this? Since we don’t have a vibrant and transparent legislature to monitor our scanty resources, I strongly feel that at this delicate stage of our development, the role of holding our government accountable must be taken up by the fourth and fifth estates. Don’t just report the launching or the disbursements. You need to follow up and track down and report on all these various funds and plans costing billions of Naira have actually come to fruition. The media is such a powerful tool. Let’s use it to instil a sense of accountability in the government. For example, what happened to the loans disbursed for the egg a day project for school children? What happened to the loans disbursed to youths snd artisans by heritage bank. How many actually received these funds, and what are they doing with them? Lagos state held a town hall where they affirmed several roads had been repaired. Has any newspaper confirmed these facts and published that? We are demanding more from our media now, more than ever before, because without you, we will not know what is going on. Please do these follow up stories. It’s crucial.

  • Emeka

    When will the Kaduna plant be ready to contribute the 40 megawatt extra into the national grid and the same for Gurara phase 1? By next year when this administration will be three years, we will still be hearing these stories. In the corporate world, targets are set with dates but here we are with completion promises for projects without dates. It is ridiculous. And coming from Fashola, i think i am very disappointed.

  • real

    we keep hear about money being released and projects on going. we never hear about the implementation and monitoring of this projects. There are two major things the government should have being focusing on, and that is power generations and agriculture. Those are two things that would greatly help the economy in every sector of the economy.