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Tinubu’s First Anniversary Gift: FG Plans New Cash Transfer Scheme for 75 Million Nigerians

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The Federal Government announced on Tuesday the reinstatement of the suspended social investment program, unveiling plans to provide direct cash payments to 75 million Nigerians across 50 million households. This initiative aims to alleviate the hardships faced by citizens, particularly vulnerable groups.

The announcement came during a ministerial sectoral briefing marking President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office. Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, highlighted that the cash transfer program has been revamped to address fraud issues.

In January, President Tinubu had suspended all programs managed by the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA) for six weeks to investigate alleged mismanagement. Among the affected programs were N-Power, the conditional cash transfer scheme, the government enterprise and empowerment program, and the home-grown school feeding initiative.

To reform these initiatives, Tinubu established a Special Presidential Panel, led by Edun, to conduct a comprehensive review and audit of the financial frameworks and policies of the social investment programs.

Updating on the committee’s progress, Edun stated, “The government has restarted the social investment program, providing direct payments to 75 million Nigerians in 50 million households. Additionally, access to credit has been improved, with N1bn allocated to consumer credit and grants of 50,000 Naira given to 1 million nano industries.”

The National Bureau of Statistics reported that Nigeria’s inflation rate was 33.69% in April, driven primarily by food inflation at 40.53%. Rising costs, partly due to the removal of petrol subsidies, have been a significant concern.

Edun noted, “Food security is a global issue affecting 30% of the world’s population, and Nigeria is no exception. Agriculture is critical to addressing food insecurity. Efforts are being redoubled with N200bn provided for intervention programs.”

The minister also highlighted a new payment system to ensure transparency and accountability in government expenditures. He mentioned that the government is set to launch an Economic Emergency Plan to stabilize the economy over the next six months.

On economic reforms, Edun assured that Nigeria has adequate resources to meet its domestic and international debt obligations. He also emphasized the improvement in Nigeria’s international credit rating, with Moody’s and Fitch upgrading the country’s ratings to positive.

“Infrastructure development is key to economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction,” Edun added. “A fund has been established to support housing construction and low-interest mortgages for Nigerians.”

Addressing concerns about companies exiting Nigeria, Edun clarified that these decisions were made before the current administration took office. He reiterated the government’s commitment to resolving outstanding obligations and fostering a conducive environment for business.

The minister also mentioned ongoing discussions on the national minimum wage and efforts to enhance mass transit systems, which are expected to significantly reduce fuel costs for public transportation.

As President Tinubu marks his first year in office, these initiatives underscore the administration’s commitment to economic stability and social welfare.

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