By Esther Atani, The Sight News
Over 12 million Nigerians are estimated to benefit from the ‘Next Level’ of the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP).
This was a statement made by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice President),where he noted that the Federal Government was targeting millions of Nigerians to benefit from its schemes.
According to the statement, over 12 million people will be lifted out of poverty in the next phase of the schemes, with over one million poorest households benefitting from the cash transfer.
“In continuation of its efforts to invest in the country’s human capital development, the Buhari administration has continued to make significant strides through its National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP).
“Millions of Nigerians nationwide are currently benefitting from the different schemes under the N-SIP, which is the largest social welfare scheme in the history of the country.
“Through its Conditional Cash transfer (CCT) scheme, the administration is supporting the most vulnerable in society, while developing a skilled workforce for economic productivity by providing jobs for millions of Nigerian youths through the N-Power programme.
“Also, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) provides financial support through micro-credit schemes to small traders and businesses at the bottom of the financial pyramid”, the statement said.
According to Akande, beneficiaries of the GEEP schemes include petty traders, women cooperatives, youths, farmers and agricultural workers.
He explained that in the second term of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration tagged ‘Next Level’, more Nigerians will benefit from the schemes.
“While the Cash Transfer scheme aims to reach one million poorest households, one million new beneficiaries are expected to be added to the N-Power scheme, arguably the largest job creation and youth employment scheme in Africa.
“The administration’s National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), which has a target of reaching 12 million pupils, is currently feeding over 9.5 million public primary school (classes 1-3) pupils with one free, balanced and nutritious meal a day in 30 states nationwide; while it has empowered 101,913 cooks in these states.
“The HGSFP has not only helped to increase enrollment rates of pupils in these communities, it is also effectively tackling early year malnutrition, while improving the cognitive skills of children. The School feeding programme has also provided sustainable income for local farmers, cooks, which has increased growth and productivity in the local economy.
“As of March, 297,973 Nigerians in 20 states (including the Borno IDP camps) are current beneficiaries under the National Cash Transfer Policy Programme (Conditional Cash Transfer), which started in December 2017; with over 5,000 savings groups and cooperatives formed as a result,” he said.
Akande, explained that the Conditional Cash Transfer was designed to deliver timely and accessible cash to beneficiary households and to enhance their capacity for sustainable livelihood.
“The programme provides beneficiaries – poor and vulnerable households – with a monthly transfer of N5,000 with the sole aim of taking them out of poverty,” he remarked.