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Why Buhari earmarked N.5tr for social welfare




THE Presidency yesterday explained the Federal Government’s decision to earmark the sum of N500 billion in the 2016 Appropriation Bill to the need to cater for the low income and vulnerable groups in the country.

In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, while unveiling the six social protections plans as announced by the government, disclosed that at no time in the nation’s budgetary history has the Federal Government made a specific vote for social welfare.

“Even economic historians now say that not only is the half a trillion naira vote unprecedented, but it is also the greatest service ever done to the Nigerian state and people by any Federal Government administration,” Akande said.

Continuing, he noted that the six social safety plans would reduce high levels of poverty and vulnerabilities, while also increasing Nigeria’s Human Development Index on the global UN rankings.

“The President’s vision is to increase investments in human capital to guarantee security for all, employment and improved well-being of the people,” the Vice President’s media aide added.

He disclosed that the Presidency is aware that past attempts to address poverty have suffered because of insufficient political will, presence of various uncoordinated initiatives and poorly targeted beneficiaries among other factors, and is working to avoid the pitfalls.

The Senior Special Assistant said for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), where one million extremely poor Nigerians will receive N5,000 monthly in 2016, the money would be paid directly to the beneficiaries through a payment system that is being worked out.

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