According to a statement from the office of the Vice President signed by Laolu Akande,Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, the administration has started payment of N5, 000 monthly stipends to the poorest and the most vulnerable in the country through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of its Social Investment Programmes, SIP.
"Under the CCT, one million Nigerians would receive N5000 monthly payments as a form of social safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable as budgeted for in the 2016 Budget. In the first batch that commenced last week, nine states would be covered, and many of the beneficiaries have already reported receiving their first payments by Friday last week, December 30, 2016."
"In the new year, it is the plan of the Federal Government to scale up the implementation of the SIP to touch the lives of millions of Nigerians in fulfillment of it's promises and in furtherance of its Change agenda."
The programme has kicked off in less than a dozen states.
He disclosed that funds for the commencement of the payments in four states were released last week to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) – the platform that hosts and validates payments for all government's social intervention programmes. "Funds for another set of five states to complete the first batch of nine states would follow soon, he said.
"Government has also started the implementation of the National Home-grown School Feeding programme designed to feed 5.5 million school children for 200 school days in the first phase of the programme. Although the initial design was to feed pupils in 18 States, funding challenges had affected an earlier take-off. But the programme has now commenced in Osun, Kaduna and Anambra States. More states are expected to join this new year."
President Buhari last year in Saudi Arabia during an interactive session with Nigerians saidl that he would not pay the widely publicized N5,000 monthly stipend to unemployed graduates as he would rather build infrastructure and empower able-bodied persons.
His words: “This largess, N5,000 for the unemployed, I have got a slightly different priority, I would rather do the infrastructure, the school and correct them and empower agriculture, mining so that every able-bodied person can go and get work instead of giving N5,000 to those who don’t work.”