Like a broken covenant, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that he would rather build infrastructure and empower able-bodied persons to work than to give N5, 000 to unemployed youths. The President who stated this during an interactive session on the last day of his visit to Saudi Arabia, explained: “This largesse (of N5,000) I have got a slightly different priority.
“I would rather do the infrastructure, the school and correct them and empower agriculture, and mining so that every able-bodied person can go and get work instead of giving N5,000 to those who don’t work.”
In the build up to the 2015 election, the All Progressives Congress, APC had promised to give a monthly stipend of N5, 000 to the most vulnerable in the country. However, the promise has generated different controversies. In November, lawmakers of the upper chamber of the National Assembly were divided along party lines after Philip Aduda, a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP senator, moved a motion for the president to fulfil the promise.
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Responding to the motion, which was rejected, Kabir Marafa, an APC lawmaker had said: “What has Sen. Phillip Aduda got to do to bring up an issue that is APC-related? Is Phillip Aduda a member of APC? Was he in the campaign team of APC? This is something that involves millions of Nigerians and you just sit down through a motion and say the Senate should urge the President to pay N5, 000 to unemployed Nigerians.
“He should know more than many Nigerians. So, if you want to give APC a bad name, this is one of the most-wicked ways of doing it. Nigerians are no fools and very soon, the facts will emerge.”
Subsequently, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who was then the spokesman of APC, blamed the inability to meet the expectation of Nigerians in that regard on the non-inclusion of the programme in the 2015 budget prepared by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mohammed, who estimated the number of prospective beneficiaries at N25 million, had said: “APC never at any time indicated it has reneged on its promise to pay 5,000 naira monthly to 25 million most vulnerable Nigerians.”
Wife of the president, Aisha Buhari also appealed to the party to fulfil the promise. “Her Excellency Aisha Buhari has appealed to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC not to renege on their campaign promise of paying N5,000 to 25 million unemployed Nigerians and giving school children one free meal a day,” read a statement issued on her behalf by Adebisi Olumide, her media aide.
Earlier in the year, James Ocholi, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, said the federal government did not have the statistics of unemployed youths in the country. He gave the impression that the issue was responsible for fulfilling the promise. “There is no data anywhere. There is no data of the unemployed or employed. It is a bad situation but as we speak, experts are working to capture the data of the employed and the unemployed,” he had said.
Source: Nigerian Pilot

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