Federal government yesterday denied having any rift with the Legislative arm of government as regard the 2016 budget which was recently passed by the lawmakers.
Recall that the President Muhammadu Buhari had refused to give his assent to the budget as passed by the National Assembly, demanding that the details of the budget be submitted along, as against the highlights of the budget that was submitted by the lawmakers.
The disagreement resulted in several publications saying that the Presidency and the National Assembly is at logger head regarding the budget.
Speaking at the corporate headquarters of the Leadership newspaper in Abuja yesterday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, insisted that there is no disagreement whatsoever between the Executive and the Legislature on the 2016 Budget, which has been passed by the National Assembly.
“There is absolutely no rift, no issue of budget being sent back as reported in some sections of the media . Things are just taking its due course. It was not true that the President has refused to sign the Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly. It is a normal practice that the lawmakers take few days (after the passage) to clean up the document in readiness for the President’s assent.’’
Alhaji Mohammed was optimistic that when is eventually passed into law, it will lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty, thanks to the six focal areas of social intervention contained therein.
“The first is the employment of 500,000 unemployed university graduates who would be train as teachers. Two, we would also employ 370,000 non-graduates. These are people with National Diploma and Technical Certificate. The third tranche is the social intervention targeted at 1 million people made up of market women, traders and artisans that would be trained and given loans through their cooperatives.
“The fourth one is the home-grown One-Meal-A-Day Programme. Here we are targeting several millions of pupils in primary schools all over Nigeria. The exponential effect of this programme is huge. Even if we are targeting five million pupils and we are giving each of them one egg a day, it would translate to about five million eggs that will be provided by our poultry farmers. This will help to increase the demand for maize and also create jobs for people,” he said.
The Minister further disclosed that the Federal Government will also commence the Conditional Cash Transfer to the most vulnerable Nigerians, in collaboration with some development partners, to bring succour to such people.
He added that a special bursary scheme will also come on stream to grant scholarships to students of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, in a deliberate effort to support the students financially while also bolstering the nation’s drive for industrialization.
Alhaji Mohammed said that the sum of N350 billion will soon be injected into the economy to enable contractors resume work on abandoned infrastructural projects, with timeline and target on project delivery and job creation.

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