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Friday, 4 December 2015

2016 budget will show Buhari’s focus is lifting Nigerians from poverty – Minister

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says the Federal Government will take advantage of the vast opportunities in the agriculture, solid minerals, and real sectors to create jobs for Nigerians.
Mr. Mohammed, who stated this at the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja on Friday, said, “all we are waiting for is the 2016 Budget to be put in place”.
The minister said the present administration would invest massively in developing infrastructure because it would be difficult to create jobs without such investment.
“Job creation, which is our major promise, is going to be realised and all we are waiting for is the 2016 Budget to be put in place.
“This administration is going to use the instrumentality of agriculture, solid minerals, and the real sector to create more jobs for Nigerians.
“You cannot create jobs without investing massively in infrastructure and I know that what we are aiming at this year is to ensure that most of our spending will be on infrastructural development.
“I think last year the country did about 60 per cent only in capital expenditure; we hope that we will do at least 30 per cent this year in capital expenditure.
“This government is committed to investing in our youth; this government is interested in bringing out millions of Nigerians out of abject poverty.
“By the time the 2016 budget is released, you will see clearly that the emphasis on this government is to bring out as many people from abject poverty, create jobs, and also present an environment that will encourage entrepreneurs.”
Mr. Mohammed, who noted that between 60 million and 80 million Nigerians live below the poverty line, reiterated the government’s commitment to assisting “vulnerable groups” through its social intervention programmes.
“It is not that in the past there have not been attempts at poverty alleviation, but it would not be at the scale we are aiming.
“We are embarking on these massive social interventions so that we will talk of millions of Nigerians that will be rescued from abject poverty.
“We have about five groups that we are talking about; we have those that we call vulnerable because they are poor, those that are vulnerable because they do not have access to basic medical care.
“We have those that are vulnerable because they live with disabilities and this group is different.
“But then there are young Nigerians, who are vulnerable because they lack the economic strength.
“We have plans specifically for unemployed graduates, specifically for university graduates, and this takes various forms.
“In the case of market women, we intend to advance them money through their cooperatives.”
The minister also said that graduates, who had completed the national youth service scheme, and had been enrolled in a skill acquisition programme, would be paid a stipend.
“There is an exit for the programme and it is not like this group of people are going to be there permanently,” he added.
He also assured of the government’s readiness to work closely with persons with disabilities and to create a more accessible and enabling environment for them.
“We can make persons with disabilities in our society very productive by giving them the right incentives and we are looking into making public areas accessible to them,” he said.

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