Tinubu directs creation of youth unemployment benefits

President Bola Tinubu has directed the creation of a Social Security Unemployment Programme where unemployed Nigerian youths will be paid to ease economic hardship.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, announced this while addressing reporters at the State House yesterday in Abuja after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Tinubu.

He said: “At this period of heightened food prices, Mr. President has committed to doing all that can be done to assist in giving purchasing power to the poorest. In that line, he has committed and instructed that the Social Security Unemployment Programme be devised, particularly to cater for the youth, for unemployed graduates, as well as the society as a whole. So, we have coming, in the nearest future, an unemployment benefit for the young unemployed, in particular.”

The minister also said there were plans for setting up of a Consumer Credit Scheme to alleviate the pains of economic adjustment.

“Finally, in the same line to emphasise that there is empathy… There is a feeling for those who are less well off or a feeling, particularly the pains of this adjustment, there is coming a social consumer credit programme.

“So, by making consumer credit available, of course, goods become more affordable, the economy even gets a chance to revive faster because people have the purchasing power that allows them to order for goods, products,” he said.

Edun also spoke on the review carried out by a special presidential panel on the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which has submitted a preliminary report to the president.

On various social investment programmes, the minister said what was done was “a review of existing mechanisms, a review of existing programmes, and where there have been successes, such as the 400,000 beneficiaries of the GEEP programme, and so on and so forth”.

He said: “Those have been identified and recognised. The School Feeding programme is another example of relative success. Whilst there is still some further work to be done, particularly as regards availability of the financial data, which is still being looked at, the interim report has been submitted and a key recommendation of the panel was that, especially given the heightened, limited household purchasing power at this time, rising prices, particularly elevated food prices, it’s important to restart the programme.

“The direct payment to 12 million households, comprising 60 million Nigerians, is to resume immediately with the important proviso that every beneficiary will be identified by their National Identity Number (NIN) and the Bank Verification Number (BVN)…”

“Therefore, payments will be made into bank accounts or mobile money wallets so that whether it is before or after, there is verification of the identity of beneficiaries.”

“Each person that receives N25,000 for a total of three months will be identifiable, even after they have received the money. It will be clear who it went to and when it went to them. That is the big change that has allowed Mr. President to approve the restart of direct payments to beneficiaries programme,” Edun said.

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