Report Shows That FG Has Disbursed N55.3bn To Youths, Poor Persons In 6yrs

Poor Nigerians
Poor Nigerians

The Federal Government has disbursed $155 million (about N55.3 billion) out of the $300m World Bank-funded support to youth empowerment and poverty alleviation in Nigeria since when it was launched in 2013. The World Bank earmarked the $300m to support the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) to help Nigeria reduce poverty and to increase the opportunity for youth employment and social service delivery.

The acting National Coordinator of YESSO, Hajiya Hajara Sami, told newsmen yesterday in Abuja that about $155m has been disbursed to over 500,000 beneficiaries across 16 states. She said, “The programme is a package of $300m the Infrastructure Development Agency (IDA) out of which, because the end date is fast approaching and we needed to disburse quickly there was a restructuring. So far, we have expended about $155m.”

Hajara who spoke on the sidelines of the “social protection practitioners and academic dialogue” in Abuja, said stakeholders are exploring opportunities of extending the programme when it reaches closure in June. They also suggest that a new programme be launched to deliver more positive impacts on the youths and vulnerable Nigerians.

Hajara said at least 80 per cent of the 500,000 beneficiaries are still on the programme. “We have public welfare that deploys beneficiaries to labour-intensive activities and they are paid N7,500 every month. We also have skills for jobs driven by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and they are paid N7,500 every month. “The last is the targeted grant transfer to cushion effect in the Northeast.

We have a comprehensive database of all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast. Later we added special grant transfer targeted at the physically challenged and they are given N20,000 every quarter,” she explained. The National Coordinator, Community and Social Development Projects (CSDP), Mr Abdulkareem Obaje, said just like YESSO, the CSDP is ending by June 2020.

“These two projects are critical in lifting Nigerians out of poverty and we are going for a successor project from June 2020. So this dialogue is to take a critical look at the challenges and successes and how the successor programme can make it even better” he noted. In her remarks, Mrs Maryam Uwais, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments said she is confident the dialogue will propose solutions that will place the strengthening of the social protection system in Nigeria in the right direction.

“As we keenly await the outcome of these social protection practitioners and academics dialogue, I am hopeful that it will build upon the already existing efforts, partnerships, and provide a foundation to generate evidence about poverty in Nigeria, the impact of current social protection programming and remaining gaps,” she noted.

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