FG to spend N500bn on poor Nigerians in 2016
John Ameh and Sunday Aborisade
President Muhammadu Buhari has proposed to spend N500bn on social services to cater for the needs of youths and other “vulnerable” groups in 2016.
The proposal was contained in the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, which he sent to the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Buhari wrote separate letters to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, which were read to members in the respective chambers.
The document explained that the social welfare programme would be executed in phases but did not categorically say whether it was meant to implement his administration’s promise to pay each unemployed person in the country N5, 000 monthly.
However, it added that that the scheme would also take care of the school feeding programme initiative as well as the “conditional cash transfer to the most vulnerable and a post-NYSC grant.”
Buhari explained that the intervention would start next year as a pilot scheme, adding that his government would work towards securing the support of donor agencies and development partners in order to minimise potential risks.
“Government will institute policies to ensure that our students learn skills and provide funds and equipment that will make them self-employed upon graduation. This will be supported by a post NYSC grant,” the document stated.
The House will open debate on the MTEF and FSP on Wednesday (today).
The House took the decision as soon as Dogara read the President’s letter to members.
“We will all agree that this is very important and urgent.
“The clerk should circulate copies of the MTEF and FSP to all members today, preparatory for the debate tomorrow (today),” Dogara announced.
This came as The PUNCH learnt that the President would likely meet with senators and members of the House on Wednesday (today).
Findings indicated that discussions at the meeting would centre “around the 2016 budgetary proposals.”
A National Assembly official informed one of our correspondents on Tuesday that the meeting was fixed for 3pm.
“There is a notification that Mr. President will meet with members of both chambers on Wednesday.
“Issues surrounding the budget will dominate the agenda,” the source stated.
Buhari proposed a total budget size of N6.04tn in the MTEF specifically for 2016 with a projected daily crude oil production of 2.2million barrels.
For the 2017, the projected oil production is 2.347mbpd, while it will be 2.69mbpd in 2018.
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