Media aide to Vice President Yomi Osinbajo, Mr Laolu Akande, Sunday, said that the current government of President Muhammadu Bubahi was different from immediate past government because it has been able to do much more for the Nigerian people compared to when oil prices were above $100 and yet so little was done.
In a statement on Sunday, on what sets out the government apart from the previous one, he said “First of all, let us state the facts that are important to Nigerians. In a time when we have a very sharp decline in national income, this government has been able to do much more for the Nigerian people compared to when oil prices were above $100 and yet so little was done.
“We have set out a Social Investment Programme, that currently is providing, under one of the clusters, the National Homegrown School Feeding, where we are providing one free meal a day to 7.6 million pupils across 24 States in the Nation. This is at a time when the income of the country is down. We are using public resources to take care of the people.
“ In the past, public resources were shared by persons who found protection within government, and we have given this information and the facts are out there. More such information coming. Make a note of this, there hasn’t been any serious contests of these claims for the most part.
“ So, we have under the Social Investment Programmes, the N-Power. This programme is designed to hire half a million otherwise unemployed Nigerian graduates, we have done 200,000 to date who are engaged in their local communities and receiving 30,000 per month stipend, 200,000 of them. They have a tablet that they can work with, which also gives them exposure and more skills.
“We are doing this at a point in time when the income of this country is lower than what it was when they were stealing it.
“Look at the micro-credit programme, where we have about 300,000 soft loans that have been written; interest free loans to artisans, market women and men, between N10,000 and N100,000 have been given to over 300,000 people and we are hoping to do a million. We are spending the resources of this country on the people of this country.
“The same thing under the Conditional Cash Transfer, we have done close to almost 300,000, we are giving N5,000 every month and again, we intend to do this for one million people. All of these programmes are on, and we have giving N5000 to those deemed to be the poorest and most vulnerable.
“We are spending billions of Naira on the Social Investment Programme. We have spent already, N195 billion in the last two years and we are doing it at a time when the income of this country is declining.
“What about the revitalisation of the fertiliser plants? Plants that have otherwise been moribund in Kastina and other parts of the country, have been revived and the price of fertiliser has dropped today.
“What about rice? The people in the industry, the Farmers Association, the people in the business have said that when we came in there were 5.8million farmers but today there are about 12million rice farmers.
“Our rice importation is almost over. With the Anchors Borrowers Programme of this government, we have produced the highest numbers of farmer millionaires in the country. Rice farmers are beginning to be more and more prosperous and they are beginning to do more things. It is happening at a time when the resources of this country is now being focused on the people,” he added.