By: Luka Binniyat
KADUNA – Most impoverished 25 million Nigerians who have been promised conditional N5,000 per month under the present government are beginning to lose hope as no step has so far been taken towards fulfilling the promise.
The present government under President Mohammed Buhari, has promised to pay a monthly stipend of N5000 to the most deprived Nigerians on condition that they immunised their children and send them to school.
The promise, which was also one of the 12 cardinal agenda of the rulling All Progressive Change, APC, during and after its presidential campaigns has been repeated several times by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo at various public gatherings.
Investigation by our reporter shows that no single measure has been taken by say, ways of identifying, documenting and setting up a data on the supposed beneficiaries, talk less of making payment arrangements for this category of Nigerians.
Also, the monetary implication of paying N5,000 to 25 million persons per month may prove unrealisable at N125 billion month, or N1.5 trillion per year. This is giving the grim fact about failing oil prices which has placed the total national expenditure per year to within N4.6 trillion since 2012.
The socio-economic implications of such raw cash inflow into the market monthly, with no commensurate production, is still not spelt out by the government
Though N5000 per month to the poorest of Nigerians is still N13,000 beneath the minimum wage income of N18,000, the entire recurrent budget of the Federal government has tethered around 2.4 trillion – wages, allowances, stationery and all included.
In 2014 the proposed expenditure was N4.695 trillion, recurrent non-debt spending, made up of salaries, overheads, and other transfers was about N2.455. In the 2013 budget, the recurrent budget was N2.38 trillion. .And additional N1.25 trillion would surely tilt the scale.
Interestingly, the poor are still very expectant of the welfare package.
A survey by our reporter in Kaduna shows that the very poor in the society still believe in the promise and are looking forward towards it.
“I know that Buhari is a man of his promise”, said Mallan Saidu Madaki, a traditional barber who spoke to our Kaduna Correspondent in Kaduna. “He will pay us that N5000. If I get N5000 in a month, I wont be trecking round Kaduna just to end up with N200 per day most of the times. I have a wife and five children”, he said.
To make matters worse, there is no any indication that the present government is planning to capture this huge planned expenditure in the 2016 budget. And that should include the areas of the past months, since the promise was based on four years.