Unemployment benefits: FG targets N296bn from World Bank, others …… PUNCH


The Federal Government has a target to raise the sum of $1.5bn (N296bn) from development finance institutions for funding of basic social services such as unemployment allowance and school feeding programme, among others.

When compared to the $705m that was allocated for social development purpose in the current year, the $1.5bn (N296bn) indicates an increase by $795m (N156.6bn).

The amount, which is contained in the medium-term plan prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, is expected to be raised through a window identified by the document as ‘Official Development Assistance.’

The document had already been submitted to the ministries, departments and agencies of government for validation.

Some of Nigeria’s development partners are the European Union, World Bank, Department for International Development and the United States Agency for International Development, among others.

An analysis of the document showed that the $1.5bn to be earmarked for social schemes represents 75 per cent of the total amount of $2bn (N395bn) expected to be raised from development partners in the 2016 fiscal period.

According to the document, some of the social development programme expected to be implemented by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari are welfare schemes, and conditional cash transfer.

Others are school feeding programme, pro-poor health care services through health care insurance scheme and the development of educational infrastructure as well as capacity building for technical staff.

Apart from the amount to be raised from the development partners, The PUNCH had reported exclusively that the Federal Government was also planning to fund the N5,000 monthly allowance for 25 million unemployed youths and the free school feeding programme from the Treasury Single Account.

Despite dwindling oil revenue, the government had reportedly 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 had told The PUNCH that some funds would be freed through the gains that would be derived from the TSA, domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria. This in turn would be used for the well-being of Nigerians and the social safety net would be one of such programmes.