Against misconception by many Nigerians, the Presidency, yesterday, clarified that the N5000 stipend promise for the vulnerable and poor Nigerians still stands.
It stressed that the 2016 Budget which has been submitted to the National Assembly has made an allocation of half a trillion naira for social investment.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, told State House that “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 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 N5000 monthly to the vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians. That promise stands.
“The President never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5000; the President never made that promise and the government never made that claim that it will pay N5000 to unemployed graduates. The programme for unemployed graduates is the direct creation of half a million teaching jobs so that they will be trained; 500000 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 N5000. The N5000 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 N5000 monthly.”
Buhari returns
Meanwhile, President Buhari yesterday, returned from his weeklong tour of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
President Buhari touched down at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja yesterday evening.
While on the trip, he performed the Lesser Hajj where he prayed for Nigeria as well as discussing other bilateral issues with the Saudi government. He also emphatically stated in Saudi Arabia that he would not pay N5000 stipends to unemployed Nigerians as his party promised during the campaigns, rather he would prefer to invest in infrastructure which would snowball into job creation for the teeming youths of Nigeria.
In Qatar, he signed a reciprocity-based Bilateral Air Service Agreement BASA with the country for direct flights between Qatar and Nigeria. Other issues of mutual concern were also discussed.

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