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FG’s Social Safety Programme Gulps N471bn in Three Years

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  • FG’s Social Safety Programme Gulps N471bn in Three Years

A total of N470.8bn has been released by the Federal Government in the last three years for the implementation of its social safety programme.

The Federal Government had in 2015 designed the programme to improve the lives of all Nigerians irrespective of religion, political affiliation and social class.

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had structured the programme to be impact-oriented, specifically catering to the needs of the poor, vulnerable, unemployed and those at the bottom of the pyramid without access to finance.

Under the social safety programme, four broad initiatives are being implemented with each uniquely targeting different subgroups of Nigerians for empowerment.

They are N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfers, National Home-Grown School Feeding and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programmes.

Figures obtained from the National Social Investment Office revealed that out of the N500bn set aside for the implementation of the programme, about N470.8bn had been disbursed.

A breakdown of the amount showed that the sum of N79.98bn was released in 2016, while N140bn and N250.84bn were released in the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years respectively.

For the implementation of the N-Power programme, about 500,000 people spread across 774 Local Government Areas have been recruited to teach in public schools, act as health workers in primary health centres and as agriculture extension advisors to smallholder farmers in various communities.

The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, which was aimed at providing one nutritious, balanced meal for 200 school days in a year, has been able to reach over 9.7 million pupils.

Through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, about 1,681,491 loans have been made available to successful applicants in all states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Speaking on the implementation of the social safety programme, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Maryam Uwais, noted that going forward, a five-year road map had been designed for the programme.

She said that for the sustainability of the initiative, a bill that would create a legal entity of the Social Safety Intervention Programme had been drafted.

The bill, according to her, is receiving the required attention.

She said, “We have begun the journey; that is indeed a marathon, bearing in mind the needs and ambitions of this administration.

“A five-year road map has been designed and is being considered by relevant policymakers, while a bill creating a legal entity for the National Social Investment Programme is already drafted and receiving attention for sustainability.

“We need to actively explore the fiscal space for continued funding for the journey ahead. We are optimistic that we can overcome poverty in our lifetime, and improve on our human capital indices.

“It is only with political will, a concerted effort, the funding and the backing of Nigerians that we can enhance the conditions of our citizens.

“We just need to work closely with the states, the LGAs and communities, and provide the incentives for engagement with the standards and incentives offered by the Federal Government.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

FG to Create 5 Million Jobs for Nigerian Youths in the Power Sector

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Federal Government Plans to Create 5 Million Jobs for Youths in the Power Sector

The Federal Government is working on creating at least 5 million jobs for Nigerian youths in the power sector, according to the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman.

The minister, who spoke at a stakeholder meeting in Jalingo, Taraba State, said the youths should foster peace and harmony as the Federal Government, in line with some of their demands, is working on creating massive job opportunities for them in the power sector.

He said the initiative is part of president Muhammadu Buhari’s plans to lift 100 million people out of poverty within 10 years.

Mamman explained that the youths will benefit from the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative as more opportunities will be available in renewable energy, installation and the maintenance of meters.

He said: “Plans are ongoing to kick start this and it is being designed to ensure that majority of the firms and the installers are Nigerian youths. This is also part of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s focus on lifting 100 million people out of poverty within 10 years.

“From the briefings I have received so far, the youths are taking up opportunities in this aspect as well as in renewable energy. This is another way the government will be empowering young Nigerians as the local assembly; installation and the maintenance of these meters are largely handled by our industrious youths.”

“The minister urged the youths to vigilant and resist and attempt by some people to use them to incite violence for their sinister motive, noting that the Federal Government was tailoring more programmes for the youths through the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative and in building capacity on renewable energy.”

“There is the assurance of Mr. President that Nigerians will be beneficiaries of the Siemens project which will turn around the power supply situation of Nigeria. When this happens, industries will be revived and SMEs driven by youths will thrive more.”

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Economy

Lagos Loses N1 Trillion to #EndSARS Protest, a Year Budget – Gov

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Lagos Needs N1 Trillion to Fix Vandalised Infrastructure, a Year Budget – Gov

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has puts the total economic cost of past week destruction and vandalism in the state at about N1 trillion.

Sanwo-olu, who spoke with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, that was on a fact-finding visit to Lagos on Sunday, said the state may spend up to N1 trillion to fix damages done to infrastructure.

Speaking on the situation, Femi Gbajabiamila, said “The House of Representatives will do all it can to compensate all those who suffered brutality including policemen that lost their lives in the process.

“Also whatever the house can do in rebuilding Lagos and other states it will do. We are now in a state of reconstruction. What must be done will be done.

“I learnt from the governor of Lagos State that it will take N1.0 trillion to rebuild what had been lost and I asked him what is the budget size of the state he said about N1.0 trillion. You can see we are moving backward.

Rotimi Akeredolu, Chairman of the South West Governors, who was part of the visit, stated, “We are indeed surprised at the extent of damage to lives and properties in Lagos. We will be right to say Lagos was turned into a war zone.

“We are deeply concerned with the ease with which public buildings, utilities, police stations and investments of our people have been burnt despite the proximity of security agencies to those areas. However, while responding to the total number of government’s buildings burnt among others,” Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, stated.

We are still counting. The state is still taking inventories of all that happened and not until all that is concluded we can’t not ascertained for now the total number of burnt structures. But I can tell you it’s very huge.

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Economy

Experts Recount Nigeria Losses Ahead Possible Rebuilding, Recovery

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Economic Experts Recount Losses Incurred from the #EndSARS Protest Ahead Possible Rebuilding, Recovery

Economic experts have started releasing reports on the size of the damage done to the nation’s economy following the #EndSARS protest that was hijacked by hoodlums and criminals.

The most affected state, Lagos State, will need about $1 trillion, an equivalent to its annual budget, to recoup the economic value of what was lost to the destruction and looting perpetrated by thieves masquerading as protesters.

A Senior Economist/Head, Research & Strategy, Greenwich Merchant Bank, Ayodeji Ebu, said the unrest and the 24 hours curfew that was later imposed by Lagos State to restore order could cost the state at least N54 billion per day.

He explained that the protest would hurt the nation’s foreign direct investment in the remaining part of the year and as well as the first quarter of 2021.

His words: “While it may be difficult to estimate the exact loss so far, based on the significant contribution of Lagos State (approximately 30%) to Nigeria’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and as over 50 percent of Nigeria’s non-oil industrial capacity is located in Lagos, the impact of the crisis will be enormous.

“This was further compounded with the 24hours curfew that lasted for about four days. Estimating using the Q2’2020 GDP data and assuming there was a total shut down, each day will cost Lagos alone about N54 billon.

Speaking further, Ebu said: “With Lagos the centre of the civil unrest, which account for 70 percent or $1.1 billion of total capital importation in Q2’2020, we expect this to further impact on direct investment in Q4’2020 and Q1’2021.

He expects that insurance claims to also rise in line with the damages done on lives and properties.

Similarly, analysts at Cordros Capital, a Lagos based investment banking firm, reacted to the negative impact of the unrest on the nation’s economy.

The analysts said the nation’s economy could contract by as much as 6.91 percent year-on-year in the final quarter of the year due to the unrest. Therefore, they projected a negative growth rate of 4.15 percent year-on-year for the 2020 fiscal year.

In their words, they said “The transportation, trade, and manufacturing sectors are expected to be the hardest hit.

“On transportation, we expect reduced domestic and international flight operations pending when normalcy is restored.

“Similarly, we expect compliance with curfew directives to hinder the free movement of people and goods across the country, further compounding the woes of the transport sector, which is yet to recover from the COVID-19 induced decline.

“While the manufacturing sector is currently being hampered by FX related issues and an unfriendly business environment, the imposition of curfews will further exacerbate the challenges of the sector.

“For the trade sector, the decline in household consumption brought about by higher food prices and shrinking consumers’ income will cascade into weak wholesale and retail trade in conjunction with the pre-existing supply chain constraints.”

Analysts at Fidelity Securities Limited also added their voices and said the protest may cost the nation more than the N700 billion estimation previously estimated by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce.

They said “The EndSARs protest and eventual escalation of the protest would cost the Nigerian economy way more than N700 billion initially estimated by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce. With the current level of destructions, it may take a while for business to run at full capacity as the government as well as the private sector will first have to channel funding into the destroyed infrastructure in a bid to restore things back to the way it was, before even thinking of further improving on the infrastructure.

“Given the level of destruction, more businesses have been affected, more jobs would be lost, and more families would further fall below the poverty line as a result of the looting and burning of business. This is expected to further worsen the economic situation of the country which was already suffering from the impact of Covid-19. The government at this point would need to think out of the box, if it aims to revitalise the economy in the shortest time, else our GDP growth rate may remain negative even into the new year.

Accordingly, the Electricity Distribution Companies of Nigeria (DISCOs), on Sunday said the destruction of equipment it uses to deliver power and service operations will hurt its revenue generation and service delivery in October and the rest of the fourth quarter.

The DISCOs said “I tell you, assets are been destroyed, which is a significant impact on the industry. The DISCOs are expected to give power and how will it be achieved when our facilities including cables, poles, buildings are destroyed.

“That, however, transcends to money because the DISCOs cannot collect money for bills due to the unrest. Who would want to pay when everybody is angry.

“This means the remittance will be low to the Government on power we have collected. The protest has empowered Nigerians to fight back and the threat to lynch officials collecting bill are high. The properties and cables would have to be fixed on whose account?

“Seriously we are at a crossroad but we have signed an agreement to deliver power and that we would do.”

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