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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Okorocha Backs Buhari Over Non Payment of N5,000 For Unemployed




 The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has joined some Nigerians opposing the proposed payment of N5, 000 to unemployed youths by the Federal Government.

Okorocha who visited the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo at the presidential villa, Abuja  on Monday February29, 2016 told State House correspondents that giving  physical cash was not necessary  as it  might create more problems than anyone could think of. 

According to him, it may lead to marrying a harem of women as wives and increased intake of alcoholic drinks.

It will be recalled that on assumption of office as Imo State Governor in 2011, Okorocha sacked 10,000 youths employed in the state workforce by his predecessor.

 His administration came up with Youth Must Work Programme that engaged 25,000 youths who mostly complain of non- payment by the State Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari had said in Saudi Arabia that he would rather build infrastructure and empower able-bodied persons to work than give N5, 000 to unemployed youths.

 “This largesse N5, 000 for the unemployed, I have got a slightly different priority,” he said.

“I would rather do the infrastructure, the school and correct them and empower agriculture, mining so that every able-bodied person can go and get work instead of giving N5, 000 to those who don’t work.”

In the buildup to the 2015 election, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had promised to give a monthly stipend of N5, 000 to the most vulnerable in the country. However, the promise has generated different controversies.

Spokesman to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo , Laolu Akande  said  that the policy still stands and provision for it was made in the 2016 budget.

He however pointed out that the policy has been amended, saying only 1 million extremely poor Nigerians will be paid N5, 000, as a total of N500 billion naira has been allocated for social investment in the 2016 budget.

 Insisting that President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5, 000.

Akande said it still has plans to empower those who do not have jobs.

 “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,” he said.

“In that 500 billion, which is half a trillion naira, close to about 20 per cent of the entire budget, there are six social safety-net programmes. And one of them is the conditional cash transfer where government is going to pay N5000 monthly to the vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians. That promise stands.

“The president never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5000; the president never made that promise and the government never made that claim that it will pay N5000 to unemployed graduates.

 “The programme for unemployed graduates is the direct creation of half a million teaching jobs so that they will be trained; 500000 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!

 He continued “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 N5000. The N5000 monthly which is already in the budget is for the vulnerable Nigerians and the extremely poor, and this year by the grace of God, once the budget is okay, one million extremely poor Nigerians will receive N5000 monthly.”

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