The Federal Government of Nigeria plans to give out monthly cash stipends to the poor, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed, adding that 500,000 graduates would also be employed as teachers.
The cash payments of five thousand naira, about $25 monthly, per head, for one million persons would cost the nation about $300 million yearly, but it would ease the poverty level in the country and help stimulate the economy, the vice-president said on Thursday.
President Muhammadu Buhari won the election in March 2015 on a promise to fight poverty and corruption, which has held most of Nigeria’s 180 million people in poverty despite its oil wealth.
“One million poor and vulnerable Nigerians would receive 5,000 naira ($25) monthly,” Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said in a statement outlining government priorities for the next 12 months.
Nigeria’s annual per capita income in 2014 was about $3,200 according to the World Bank.
According to the Vice President, aside the monthly stipends for the poor, government would also take on 500,000 graduates as voluntary teachers pending when they (the graduates) get jobs in their chosen careers.
Prof Osinbajo did not say how these benefits would be funded, but confirmed that they were part of the 6.06 trillion naira record budget for 2016 which parliament passed last month and was awaiting the President’s signature as at press time.
The government has said it wants to borrow as much as $5 billion abroad but has not detailed how it wants to plug a budget deficit which officials have put in the range of between 2.2 trillion and 3 trillion naira ($15 billion).