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Buhari set to employ 500,000 Graduates as Volunteer Teachers and Provide Soft Loans for 1 Million Traders

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GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - JUNE 08: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari attends the second day of the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau on June 8, 2015 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. In the course of the two-day summit G7 leaders are scheduled to discuss global economic and security issues, as well as pressing global health-related issues, including antibiotics-resistant bacteria and Ebola. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – JUNE 08: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari attends the second day of the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau on June 8, 2015 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. In the course of the two-day summit G7 leaders are scheduled to discuss global economic and security issues, as well as pressing global health-related issues, including antibiotics-resistant bacteria and Ebola. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

In a Press Release signed by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Federal Government has assured Nigerians that it is working to role back poverty in the nation.

Read the full statement below:

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the release of 10,000 tons of grains from the national strategic grains reserves for national distribution to counter food price increases and the intolerably high exploitation of common people by the trader-class.

He has also directed the minister of agriculture to ensure that all the able-bodied men and women in IDP camps be assisted to return to farming immediately.

This is coming as a reaction to calls for government measures to ease hardship associated with food inflation.

The Presidency however asserts that the devastation of the economy was caused by the Boko Haram insurgency, corruption and the lack of planning by the past administrations and one that should not be blamed on the Change Agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The Presidency firmly rejects the insinuations that poverty and lack are products of the Change mantra. This should be dismissed as an erroneous and misplaced opposition criticism. The President understands the pain and the cries of the citizens of this country and he is spending sleepless nights over how he can make life better for everyone. Contrary to assertions by a faction of the opposition Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, the President’s energy and focus are on changing the life of Nigerians, with a view to making it better than he met it.

Change is a process. Change does not happen overnight. Change can be inconvenient. Change sometimes comes with pain. Over the past year, the government has been working night and day to deliver on its promise of change to Nigerians, and the painful process is still ongoing.

This is work in progress. As life gradually returns to normal in much of the country and the northeast in particular, agriculture will resume and traders from neighbouring African countries will once again feel safe to do business with us – yet another boost for our economy.

But it is only when we appreciate where we are coming from that we will be able to grasp the full meaning of what the ongoing journey entails.

It is estimated, for instance, that three Northeast states of Nigeria alone have so far lost about three trillion Naira (Nine billion US Dollars) to the Boko Haram insurgency. The previous administration at the center said federal government losses amounted to about USD18 billion.

It would have been a miracle for our country’s economy to not feel the effects of this. And, in addition to the thousands of lives lost to the insurgency, thousands have also lost their means of livelihood. The northeast region of Nigeria is a mostly agrarian society, which means Nigeria has lost billions of naira in agricultural produce. Many communities, which have had their yearly planting and harvesting cycle disrupted by Boko Haram attacks or occupation are still yet to return to their farms. In many of these communities, there has not been planting and consequent harvest for between two to five years.

At the time the Buhari government came to power, about 600 billion naira was owed to fuel marketers in subsidy payments. Strategic fuel reserves were depleted and local refineries were not functioning.

One of the President’s first steps was to pay off the marketers, leaving an outstanding of about 150 billion Naira which is captured in the 2016 budget. The Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries are being brought back to life. In a matter of time, Nigeria will resume refining its own fuel rather than depending on imports. As part of the permanent solution of recurring cycle of petroleum products shortages, government is working on a plan to ensure that some of the newly-licensed independent refineries start coming on stream from 2018.

Government is also turning its attention to the sabotage of the oil and gas infrastructure that has taken so much away from the generation and distribution of electricity.

Other ongoing plans for change include those for social investment. For example, one million poor and vulnerable Nigerians will soon receive monthly payments of N5000 to allow them live decently. This programme is designed to recognize the need for ordinary, poor Nigerians to also benefit from the resources of the country. President Buhari believes that the resources of our country should be spent also on the vast majority of our people who are poor and vulnerable, and not squandered by government officials or the elite.

This social investment plan is already provided for in the 2016 Budget. The World Bank has begun compiling a Social Register on poor and vulnerable people in Nigeria, by going to the 4 poorest local government areas and then the 4 poorest communities in those poorest local govt areas. About 7-8 states have been completed already. Now the Presidency is working with the World Bank and the Bill Gates Foundation on how to identify the people to be paid the N5000 and how they will be paid.

This is the first time that the federal government of this country will be spending this much on social welfare for poor, bearing in mind that the money will go directly to the beneficiaries.

Another programme, also included in the 2016 budget and also targeted at the poor, is the provision of soft loans to one million traders, market men, artisans, etc. These are not the kind of loans that require collateral that the people can’t afford or provide. No. The loans will come through the Bank of Industry, but this has also been included in the budget.

In addition to all these, 500,000 unemployed graduates will be directly employed as volunteer teachers but paid by the FG to teach in their communities while they search for better jobs in their areas of expertise. 370,000 unemployed youths will also be trained in skills acquisition and paid while doing so.

These are just some aspects of the change that Nigerians voted for, a change that is happening and which will soon be felt by Nigerians in every nook and cranny of our country.

Nigerians are a people renowned for our inner strength and our ability to triumph. These are just the darkest days before the dawn. The change Nigerians voted has indeed begun.

17 Comments

  1. Somebody

    April 25, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Very commendable. Ride on Mr President.

    #IStandwithSaraki

  2. Johnson

    April 25, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    This is a welcome development in Nigerian History

  3. Johnson

    April 25, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Good development

  4. ElessarisElendil

    April 25, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    “role back poverty”: Ahem…….’roll’.

    “the intolerably high exploitation of common people by the trader-class”.: ???????Really a politician wants to start pointing fingers about high exploitation of the common people by a certain class……….a Nigerian politician. I keep saying Buhari should fire his speech/media statement writers.

    “He has also directed the minister of agriculture to ensure that all the able-bodied men and women in IDP camps be assisted to return to farming immediately”.: But the herdsmen are still marauding no? A position still has not been taken on curbing their insanity…..yep nothing could possibly go wrong. Hope the assistance includes free seeds and fertilizer.

    “The Presidency however asserts that the devastation of the economy was caused by the Boko Haram insurgency, corruption and the lack of planning by the past administrations and one that should not be blamed on the Change Agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.”: True………..although if care isn’t taken the 2019 administration will blame the devastation of the economy on the herdsmen menace, ethnic tensions and lack of planning by your administration.

    “About 7-8 states have been completed already.:” Ohh boy……….I know that the 7-8 states are without a doubt Northern, but I sincerely hope they have the good sense to include Bayelsa and a poor state from the SW and SE.

    This made for unenthusiastic reading but I wish the man luck…………now can we get the budget passed already!

    • nnenne

      April 26, 2016 at 12:24 am

      Nice to know that not everyone is a praise singer @ ElessariElendi.

  5. deedee

    April 25, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Very laudable idea only if it wont just be lip service.

  6. prince

    April 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    This sounds really nice and encouraging to me. Like the Bible says, lets all pray for the leaders of the country we live in.

  7. Tee

    April 25, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    My people abeg who dey delay budget? Who dey manipulate and inflating the budget in ghost projects for ther selfish gain. 2 betrayers in their midst even dare to remove a rail project for their people. Tell me, who they marginalise who and who dey delay the budget. Unless na so you dey work, sign a budget without going through it thoroughly. I pity una after all these show of shame. Who dey sabotage gas pipes? Why your god no fix refineries? You sure think the people making billions from it will just leave without a fight. For those that wants overnight miracle, biko relocate already.

    • Lol

      April 25, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      PDP is delaying the budget. They thought buhari was going to let them get away with their crooks. He sent that budget right back. So they are trying to fix it.

  8. Communication

    April 25, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    At least they are beginning to communicate now with the citizens, better than the deafening silence before. We have a right to be informed

  9. Tolu

    April 25, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Hope their rewards will not be in heaven too o?

  10. Gloria O

    April 25, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I just hope this plan falls through, unlike the N5,000 to the most vulnerable Nigerians plan; seems to me like they are having difficulties in finalising the execution process and strategy.
    #Istandwithsarakialso

  11. quiiiiin

    April 25, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    kill me if you want but GEJ’s vision is continueing,good Mr President it took time but it’s all good especially as the regular nigerian is to benefit from this

  12. forreal

    April 25, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I pray for Buhari change agenda to succeed because l ve no other country,there re times l wonder if it will work out

  13. afis

    April 25, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Plenty talk without action is useless.

  14. Ammy

    April 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    All na wash to silent people who dont trust his change campaign again.

  15. Luz

    April 25, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Summary pls!!cant deal

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