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Presidency recants, says N5,000 stipend stands

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Against widely reported claims that President Mohammadu Buhari has disclaimed the promised N5,000 stipend promised vulnerable and poor Nigerians, the Presidency, on Monday evening said the payment still stands.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari was allegedly reported to have gone back on the promise while speaking to the Nigerian community in Saudi Arabia last week.

However, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, while speaking with State House correspondents, said the 2016 Budget, which has been submitted to the National Assembly has made an allocation of half a trillion naira for such social investment, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5,000.

He said: “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.

“In that 500 billion naira 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 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.

Read also: N5,000 monthly handout to start in 2016 – Minister

“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 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 N5,000 monthly.”

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