Artisans, Traders, to Get N60 Billion Loan



NO fewer than one million traders and artisans are expected to receive a soft loan of N60,000 each this year as part of the safety nets for the poor in budget 2016.

Report says government has budgeted N60 billion for the scheme and it forms part of the proposals to come before the Senate on Tuesday, January 19.

To work on the scheme, the Presidency has announced the appointment of Maryam Uwais, a lawyer, as a special adviser to the president in the office of the vice-president to implement the programme.

There are five other social investment plans of the Buhari administration already provided for in the budget with about N500 billion to be spent, which is nine percent of the total budget.

Ita Enang, a former senator and senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly matters, said on Sunday, January 17, disclosed that the president had written a letter to the National Assembly on the budget which would be read at the plenary on Tuesday, January 19.

The media reports on the controversy in the Senate regarding two versions of the proposed budget are also to put to rest at the plenary.

In any case the proposed schemes by the Buhari administration are thus:

  • Employment of 500,000 graduates as teachers. Under the scheme federal government will hire, train and deploy the graduates to help beef up the quality of teachers in public schools across the nation. The teachers will be picked on state by state basis.
  • The youth employment agency where between 300,000 to 500,000 non-graduate youths will be taken through in skill acquisition programmes and vocational training, for which they will be paid stipends during the training, with the plan that they would then become self-productive members of their communities. The selection of the youths for this scheme will also be on state by state basis.
  • The conditional cash transfer where government will pay directly N5,000 per month to one million extremely poor Nigerians on the condition that they have children enrolled in school and are immunised.
  • The home-grown school feeding in which the federal government will serve one meal a day to primary school pupils and in many cases expected to be done in collaboration with state governments.

This programme has international support from the Imperial College of the United Kingdom among other international agencies. Hence, there is free education for science, technology and mathematics students where tuition will be paid for about 100,000 STEM students in tertiary institutions in the country. The scheme is expected to cost government about N5 billion.

— Jan 18, 2016 @ 12:35 GMT


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