Poverty In Nigeria Is Deepening Everyday – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has lamented over the increased poverty situation in the country.
Speaking at the first year ministerial performance review retreat, the Vice President charged ministers to expedite action on the N2.3 trillion stimulus package designed by the government to mitigate the effect of the crisis on the economy, while also disclosing that the Coronavirus pandemic has made Nigerians poorer.
Under the mass housing programme, Osinbajo explained that the government would build 300,000 homes across the country and would ensure that their prices did not exceed N2m. He said;
“We are already in Day 67 since the plan. Nothing is going to happen by magic, we have to simply do this stuff.
“We have to ensure that we have the money and ensure that day by day, we are measuring our achievements and trying to ensure that we do the things that we need to do. And we simply are not favoured by time, every single day the poverty situation and the economic distortions deepen.
“There is one which is ongoing by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, and the one under the Family Homes Fund is also supervised by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
“The mass agriculture programme is one where we envisaged that we will be engaging many farmers. So far, we have enumerated at least 4 million farmers.
“So, these are farmers who are tied to their lands and we have the geo-statistics that shows where their land is and we have about 4 million of them. And we expect that with each state contributing acreage for farming, we will be able to do significant numbers.
“The plan is designed in such a way that in each one of the programmes, we are engaging as many Nigerians as possible. The expected outcome for agriculture, even if each farmer employs an additional person, this will result in an additional 4 million jobs and even more jobs along the value chain. We also will be looking at developing rural roads to reduce post-harvest losses.”
Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), says 100,000 small businesses will get N50,000 each.
NAN reports that the gesture is part of COVID-19 economic stimulus.
The presidential aide made the announcement at the inauguration of the Implementation of Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Schemes for MSMEs on Thursday in Abuja.
Johnson, the Project Coordinator, said that the schemes were part of the Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Payroll Support targets 100,000 businesses. However, the number of individuals who will benefit from this is 500,000. What the government has done is to say that there a lot of MSMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Afterward, there is a CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) free registration; it is free for the MSMEs but the government is paying the CAC for this. What the government has done is to say to the CAC, you do this regularly to the MSMEs at about N12,000 or thereabout; give it to us at half price, we will give it to the MSMEs free.’’
Johnson added that under the National MSMEs Clinic, Osinbajo and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment went to no fewer than 26 states.
He said it was discovered that very creative businesses were not registered.
“They will tell you they don’t have N10,000 to N12,000 to register their businesses. The government had promised that at some point, we will do and I think the opportunity has come now; the opportunity cannot be better than now.’’
The official also announced that under the Survival Fund, the last strap would be the Transport and Artisans Support.
At least 333,000 beneficiaries will get a one-off N30,000 grant, Johnson said.
He added that the government will work with associations, individuals and the Ministry of Transportation to implement the scheme.