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– The federal government has released N25 billion for social intervention programmes and 40 billion more are expected
– The first programme is the home-grown school feeding initiative, the second — is a job creation programme
– The third one includes payment of N5,000 monthly to vulnerable persons
– The fourth is the enterprise promotion programme (EIP) which is a loan scheme
The federal government has directed the release of N25 billion as a part of the N500 billion earmarked for national social intervention programmes.
The news were made public by Zainab Ahmed, the minister of state for budget and national planning, at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja, on Wednesday, October 26.
Mrs Ahmed said: “We have approval from the steering committee in sum of N150 billion. So far N25 billion has been released into the account and there is another N40 billion that is in the process of being released into the account.”
The ministry of national planning has already presented a memo to the council for notation and implementation on the progress of the social investment programmes.
The first four programmes will continue till 2017:
The first programme is the home-grown school feeding programme. It targets 5.5 million primary school pupil in all the states of the federation from primary 1 to 3.
The federal government will be responsible for primary 1 to 3 pupils, while the states will take charge of primary 4 to 6.
“As at today, 11 states are fully ready to start and first phase will feed 3.5 million school children,” Mrs Ahmed added.
The second programme is designed to solve job creation problems. It is designed to prepare 500,000 university graduates and train them as teachers, agricultural workers and health support workers.
They will subsequently employed to work in their local communities and will receive a monthly stipend of N30,000 for a period of two years.
The third programme is the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), where one million care givers will be given N5000 monthly over a period of two years.
“Focus has been given to the extremely poor and vulnerable in our society and special emphasis is being placed to providing as many as possible in the north-eastern part of the country where we have a lot of internally displaced persons,” Mrs Ahmed explained.
The fourth is the enterprise promotion programme (EIP) or a loan scheme to be handled by the Bank of Industry (BOI).
Up to 1.6 million people, including market women, traders, artisans, small businesses and youth, will be given loans ranging from N10,000 to N100,000 with a repayment period of three to six months and administration cost of 5%.
However, no payments have been made to any person on any of the just launched programmes yet.
“There is no spending yet on the national social investment programme, we are just kicking off. The funds will be released to the Bank of Industry this week for the EIP programme and for the school feeding programme. It is only after the cooks have performed that they will get their first payment.”
The federal government has already budgeted N500 billion in the 2017 spending plan for the continuation of the programme.
50 per cent of 2016 budget implemented
Mrs. Ahmed also said that so far the Federal Government has achieved 50% implementation of the 2016 capital budget.
While budget implementation in terms of personnel is fully up to date, operational expenditure has been disbursed for eight months and the ninth month is just being processed.
“Capital expenditure has been disbursed to the tune of nearly 50 per cent. About N720 billion has been released, from the MDAs N1.5 trillion capital vote as at the end of September.”
The 2016 budget which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in May this year is expected to end in December, while the 2017 budget takes off in January.
Mrs Ahmed said the 2017 budget preparation is at an advanced stage and has already been extensively reviewed by the Economic Management Team.
The document will soon be submitted to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval after which it would be taken to the National Assembly.
More approvals for power ministry
The council has also approved a memo on the construction of a 215MW power plant in Kaduna state.
According to Babatunde Fashola, the minister of power, works and housing, the project will be completed in 2017 and is expected to add 215 megawatt of power to the national grid.
The additional power would be dedicated to Kudandan industrial complex in Kaduna.
Besides, the council approved the construction of sub-station. It is designed to evacuate 40 megawatts of power from the Gurara hydro electric power plant phase 1 to interconnect to Mando transmission substation.
Mr Fashola explained: “What these two approvals will do is to complete ongoing projects which is a commitment of this administration; create work because contractors will return to site and also increase our power by 215 megawatts from Kaduna.
We will get 40 megawatts extra into the grid from gurara phase 1, and we are also expanding the transmission across the country.”