The Federal Government has said it has released 25 billion naira for the take-off  of the Social Intervention Programme. The amount is five percent of the N500 billion earmarked for the programme.

The Minister of State for Budget and Mational Planning, Zainab Ahmed made this known while while briefing journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday. She also stated that an additional N40billion was in the offing.

“We have approval from the steering committee in sum of N150 billion. So far N25 billion has been released into the account and there is another N40 billion that is in the process of being released into the account” the minister said.

N500 billion was budgeted for the social investment Programme in the 2016 budget and Ahmed said the Federal Government is rolling out the first four programmes which will continue till 2017.

The Ministry of National Planning presented a memo to council for notation and implementation on the progress of national roll out of the social investment Programme.

The minister also explained that the programmes are in four parts. “First is the home-grownschool feeding Programme which is targeted at 5.5 million primary school pupils in all the states of the federation from primary
1 to 3. The federal government will be responsible for primary 1 to 3 while the states take charge of primary 4-6.”

She also stated that 11 states are already prepared to start and first phase which will feed 3.5 million school children.

“The second Programme is a job creation Programme which is aimed at preparing 500,000 university graduates who will be equipped with devices containing information to train them as teachers, agricultural workers and also as health support workers. These persons will be deployed to work in their local community. They will be receiving a monthly stipend of N30,000 for a period of two years.

“The third is the Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT, where one million care givers will be given N5000 monthly or a period of two years. Focus has been given to the extremely poor and vulnerable in our society and special emphasis is being placed on providing as many as possible in the northeastern part of the country where there are a lot of internally displaced persons.

“The fourth is the Enterprise promotion Programme which is essentially the loan scheme which will be handled by the Bank of Industry. 1.6 million people including market women, traders, artisans, small businesses, youths will be given loan from N10,000 to N100,000 with a repayment period of three to six months and administration cost of five per cent.”

She clarified that no payments have been made to anyone yet, however cooks have been selected and banks are in place to drive the programme.

“There is no spending yet on the national social investment Programme. We are just kicking off. The funds will be released to the Bank of Industry this week for the EIP Programme. And for the school feeding programme, it is only after the cooks have performed that they will get their first payment” she said.

The Federal Government has already budgeted N500billion in the 2017 spending plan for the continuation of the programme.

Ahmed also disclosed that so far the FG has achieved fifty percent implementation of the 2016 capital budget.

“Budget implementation in terms of personnel is fully up to date while operational expenditure has been disbursed for eight months. The ninth month is just being processed,” she explained.

“Capital expenditure has been disbursed to the tune of nearly 50 per cent. About N720 billion has been released, from the MDAs; N1.5 trillion as at the end of September” she said.

Ahmed said the 2017 budget preparation is at an advanced stage and has already been extensively reviewed by the Economic Management Team. The document will soon be submitted to the Federal Executive Council for approval and later to the National Assembly.

Council also approved 215 megawatts Kaduna power plant following a memo by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

Fashola said the project which will be completed by next year is expected to add 215 megawatts of power to the national grid. And in particular, dedicate some of the power to Kudan dam in Kaduna to support the industrial complex there.

Council also approved the construction of a sub-station to evacuate 40 megawatt of power from the Gurara Hydro Electric Power Plant Phase One to connect into Kaduna and to enable it interconnect to Mamdo Transmission Substation. This, he said will strengthen the transmission grid.

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