The Federal Government plans to fund the N5,000 monthly allowance for 25 million unemployed youths and the free school feeding programme from the Treasury Single Account, The PUNCH has learnt.
Our correspondent learnt on Tuesday that despite dwindling oil revenue, the government believed that some money that would have gone into private pockets because of the uncoordinated and multiple bank accounts operated by government agencies, would be saved through the TSA and be spent on the purpose.
A source in the Presidency told our correspondent on Tuesday that funds that would be freed through the gains that would be derived from the TSA, domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, would be used for the well-being of Nigerians and the social safety net would be one of such programmes.
“This government is saving funds that, in the past, ended up in personal pockets through the TSA. These funds will come handy for this programme,” the source said.
He also referred our correspondent to a statement issued penultimate week by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while as the spokesperson for the ruling All Progressives Congress, assured Nigerians that the APC would fulfil its electoral promises.
“I think Alhaji Lai Mohammed has addressed the issue of how the programme will be funded in a statement he issued penultimate week when he was still the APC spokesman. That, I guess, captured it,” he added.
When asked how the government plans to finance the programme, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the details would be available in the 2016 budget.
“Let us just wait for the 2016 budget. I am sure that all the details will be available in that budget,” he stated.
Meanwhile, another competent source told our correspondent that the Federal Government had already outlined the criteria for those who would benefit from its planned Conditional Cash Transfer scheme.
The CCT aims to reduce poverty by making welfare programmes conditional upon the beneficiaries’ actions.
The government only transfers the money to persons who meet certain criteria.
The source said two major criteria that beneficiaries must meet were that they must enrol their children in schools while also showing evidence of immunisation of the children.
In the statement penultimate Friday by Mohammed, the APC said even though the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government plundered the common wealth in its time, it (APC) had devised creative means not only to pay the money but also to fulfil its other campaign promises to Nigerians.
It explained that the non-implementation of the payment policy so far was due to the fact that it was not included in the 2015 budget, which was prepared by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan and also because of the need to first block all financial leakages.
“Now, the Buhari administration has been busy putting in place measures that will make it possible to start the implementation of this project. Such measures include the introduction of the Treasury Single Account.
“We are happy to inform Nigerians that as of the end of September 2015, over N1.4tn – which hitherto was lying unproductively in various commercial banks – has been recovered and paid into the TSA,” Mohammed had said.