Osinbajo-led committee approves N250b in 2023 budget for employment
*To expand National Social Register with additional 3m households
*N9b support to 1.6m farmers
*Create 4.5m jobs in rural roads construction
*Finance 100,000 homes for low-income earners, others
Almost 2 million vulnerable Nigerians across the country have been impacted by projects implemented under the Federal Government’s National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) for the year 2022.
A progress report presented at the NPRGS Steering Committee meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on Wednesday also indicates that about 1.6 million smallholder farmers were impacted under the Agriculture for Jobs Plan.
Besides, 13,000 youths have been trained under a Technical and Vocational Education and Training programme in 6 States comprising Lagos, Ogun, Enugu, Gombe, Kaduna and Nasarawa, while arrangements are underway to provide similar training for 2000 beneficiaries in Edo State.
Equally, more than 8,000 Nigerians were employed in rural roads construction under the Rural Roads programme which built 40 rural roads in 120 communities, covering about 57.3 km across the country.
According to the NPRGS implementation monitoring update presented by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, “following the release of N50 billion, programmes that have achieved 100% completion include: Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP),and Construction of Rural Roads, among others.
“A total number of direct beneficiaries of the implemented programmes currently stands at 1,818,782 vulnerable Nigerians and a total of 9,527 Nigerians have also been directly employed through the implementation of the programmes so far.”
Additionally, at the meeting, the committee approved the sum N250 billion for the execution of projects for the year 2023. Projects scheduled for implementation under the NPRGS for the year include:
• The provision of 100,000 homes for low-income earners which will create 1 million jobs directly and indirectly.
• The expansion of energy access by providing 1,200 solar street lights in rural communities and 6 mini-grids for high-capacity productive farming under the Solar Naija Programme.
• Creation of 4.5 million direct and indirect jobs through the Rural Roads programme which targets to connect about 750 rural markets.
• Provision of N9 billion support for over 1.6 million vulnerable smallholder farmers for the 2023 wet season farming under the Agriculture for Jobs Plan.
• The expansion of the National Social Register with additional 3 million households.
Over N50 billion have been spent so far.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State who is also the Co-Chair of the Technical Working Group for the Committee said though implementation has not reached expected levels, efforts are underway to touch each of the targeted 15 areas of implementation.
According to him, “today, we just came to review the implementation and update on the spending on the projects so far and approval for this year’s projects for the same scheme.
“Based on what was received from the co-chair of the Technical Working Group, over N50 billion have been spent so far. The performance so far hasn’t reached the level we expected. But nearly every aspect of the 15 areas targeted is being implemented in one way or the other.”
The performance so far hasn’t reached the level we expected
Other members of the Steering Committee present besides Governor Sule and Budget and National Planning Minister, Agba at the meeting were Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Mohammad Abubakar; Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire; and the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige who joined the meeting virtually.
The Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, Mr Nebeolisa Anako and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr Andrew Adejo who represented the Minister of Education, also attended the meeting.