The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has availed that it has begun the process of fulfilling campaign promise of paying N5,000 monthly allowance to 25 million unemployed youths in the country with 2016 as the proposed take-off date.
According to investigations by Punch, asides the N5,000 monthly allowance, the government has also planned for the promised free school feeding programme to also commence in 2016.
According to the report, steps have already been taken to capture both programmmes in the 2016 budget, as officials have already been tasked to ascertain the number of unemployed youths who would benefit from the scheme.
A top government official who spoke anonymously on Monday, November 16, 2015 said: “You know that if the scheme is left open-ended, even Nigerians, who are employed and are by no means vulnerable, will still struggle to benefit from it.
“You also know that if not properly handled, politicians will hijack the scheme and it will become a means of settling their constituents, whether they qualify to benefit from it or not.
“This is why the government will come up with data on the beneficiaries very soon.”
The source added that the fund meant for the scheme would be built into the 2016 budget.
Also speaking on the issue was the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande. He said: “Work is ongoing on various aspects of the implementation of that social investment plan, including the identification of those that will benefit from it. Very soon, we shall be concluding work on that; that is a very important aspect of the programme.
“The plan of the government is to start as much as possible in the area of social investment, and conditional cash transfer is part of it.
“It is the plan of the government to explore how to start this with the 2016 budget.”