- Nigerians React to N5,000 Federal Government Stipend
Mixed reactions have continued to trail federal government’s decision to commence the payment of N5000 stipend to one million vulnerable Nigerians across the country.
A cross section of Nigerians who spoke to The Guardian expressed worries over the sincerity of the scheme, adding that the policy might turn out to be another avenue for enriching a few government officials.
“I don’t like the idea of paying N5, 000 stipend to some people. How long will it take before the recipient finishes it? That is not a lasting solution to combating poverty.
“What the federal government needs to do is to create jobs and encourage graduates to be employers of labour by having a mindset to start their own businesses.
“We need enabling environment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive. What will N5, 000 buy with this present economy? I can assure it will finish the same day the recipient gets it,” publisher of Luxury Reporter, Funke Osae-Brown said.
But Managing Director of Integrated Indigo Limited, Mr. Bolaji Abimbola, said anybody saying the N5000 is too meagre has never tasted abject poverty before. For him, the fact that one million Nigerians, who hitherto had no hope of any monthly income, would receive N5, 000 is a good poverty alleviation initiative.
“This implies monthly injection of N5billion into the bottom of the pyramid of the economy. Most people criticising this policy should start their own personal corporate social responsibility by helping someone close to them, giving them N5, 000 monthly and see the difference it can make.
“However, the government must ensure that this money only goes to those that need and deserve it,” he said.In his reaction, Nollywood filmmaker, Sani Mu’azu, stressed the need for the federal government to clearly address some obvious grey areas in the scheme.
“Is the N5000 grants or loans? Is the money tied to any conditions? What are the selection criteria? What are the indices considered? “How long is this payment going to last? What are the deliverables expected of those that are going to receive the money? How is the government going to determine when to stop these disbursements? These are questions that we need to ask,” he said.
As against doling out money to some individuals in the name of poverty alleviation, Director of Programmes, Lion FM, Nsukka, Lorenzo Menakaya, urged the government to come up with genuine policies that would enhance the living standards of the poor.“I say genuine because they have made policies in the past that only favoured the elite.