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Jobless Nigerian youths to get stipends



Unemployed Nigerian youths may have something to cheer as the Federal Government, on Monday, said it would extend its social security payments net to graduates with qualifications from NCE and upwards.

The government also revealed that a consumer credit scheme to alleviate the pains of economic adjustment will soon be in place.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun disclosed this while addressing journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Monday, adding that the programme would see unemployed Nigerian youths being paid stipends.

“At this period of heightened food prices, Mr. President has committed to doing all that can be done to assist in giving purchasing power to the poorest.

“He has committed and instructed that the Social Security unemployment programme be devised, particularly to cater for the youth, for the unemployed graduates, as well as the society as a whole.

“So, we have coming, in the nearest future, an unemployment benefit for the young unemployed, in particular,” the Minister announced.

Edun further revealed that the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, will lead a committee that includes the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, the Attorney-General of the Federation and himself, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy.

“There is coming a social consumer credit programme. By making consumer credit available, goods become more affordable, the economy even gets a chance to revive faster, because people have purchasing power that allows them to order goods, products,” he stated.

READ ALSO:Nigerian govt targeting 77% increase in IGR – Wale Edun

Edun also spoke on the review implemented by the Special Presidential panel on the National Social Investment Programme, which has submitted a preliminary report to the president, noting that the president gave the highlights to the Council meeting.

According to Edun, what was done was “a review of the existing mechanisms, a review of the existing programmes, and where there have been successes, such as the 400,000 beneficiaries of the GEEP programme.”

He added: “So, the direct payments to 12 million households comprising 60 million Nigerians is to resume immediately with the important proviso that every beneficiary will be identified by their national identity number and the bank verification number.

“Therefore, payments will be made into bank accounts or mobile money wallets. So, that whether it is before or after, there is verification of the identity of beneficiaries.

“Each person that receives 25,000 Naira for a total of three months will be identifiable, even after they have received the money, it will be clear who it went to and when it went to them. And that is the big change that has allowed Mr. president to approve the restart of that direct payments to beneficiaries programme.”

Also speaking to journalists after the FEC meeting, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijjani, explained that beneficiaries would be vetted through their Bank Verification Number and National Identity Numbers to avoid multiple payouts to one individual.

He said: “One of the initial moves that we’re making is leveraging the existing dataset that we have on our people. As you know, the BVN is well known to be extremely credible. NIN on the other side, which is now the most popular data identity system for Nigeriansm, is also to a large extent credible, and it covers quite a significant number of people as well.

“And what we’re looking to do here is the triangulation of this data set to ensure that not only are we using the register that has been properly populated, but that we also do proper verification of every individual that will benefit from that social investment programme, which means we will get commitment to ensuring that no one is paid twice, because you have to be properly IDed before you can benefit from that programme.”

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