The presidency has said that president Muhammadu Buhari never at any point during his 2015 presidential campaign made a promise of paying N5, 000 monthly stipend to the unemployed graduates in the country.
It however stated that there was a provision of half a trillion Naira in the 2016 budget which was mapped out to execute six social safety net programmes. According to the presidency, one of the programmes was a conditional cash transfer where the federal government would pay N5,000 monthly to the vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians.
Giving clarification to the matter which had become controversial following president Buhari’s reversal of the promise, the media aide to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande who spoke to State House Correspondents in Abuja on Monday, stated that the payment of N5, 000 to the less privileged contained in the budget would be implemented. Akande also stated that about of 500,000 graduates who would be integrated into the teaching system would be paid N5, 000 token while on training. 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. There are six social safety net programmes. One of them is the conditional cash transfer where government is going to pay N5, 000 monthly to the vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians. That promise stands.
“The President never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5, 000; the President never made that promise and the government never made that claim that it will pay N5, 000 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 N5, 000. The N5, 000 monthly stipends which is already in the budget is for the vulnerable Nigerians and the extremely poor. Once the budget is okay , one million extremely poor Nigerians will receive N5, 000 monthly.”