By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Federal Government says it will repackage its social intervention programmes to ensure it reached more people at the grassroots.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed disclosed this when he featured on Nigeria Television Authority programme, “Good Morning Nigeria.”
Speaking on the programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the minister said the decision was sequel to the complaints by Nigerians that the social intervention programmes were not trickling down to the grassroots.
He said the reports from the ministers when they interacted with the people in their states as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari was that the programmes were not reaching as many people as they ought to.
The minister said the same complaint was made when the presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, met with traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the geopolitical zones.
“What we find out when we got home was that these programmes are not trickling to the grassroots and that is why we have taken a decision to see how we can repackage them.
“Everywhere we went, even traditional rulers said they ought to be involved in the execution of these programmes.
“I recently wrote a memo to our colleagues that we want the list of all the programmes so that we can also periodically publish them and let them know where they can be accessed.
“It is not that there is no information on the programmes, it is the execution that needs fine-tuning.
“We need to involve other tiers of government in the execution of some of these programmes,’’ he said.
According to the minister, the social intervention programmes predated the #EndSARS protest because the administration is concerned about the wellbeing of Nigerians.
He said they were designed to create jobs for the youths and alleviate poverty among women and vulnerable groups.
The minister cited the N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) initiated by the government and aimed at providing opportunities for youths.
He said the Fund is part of the N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Plan to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.
The minister also cited the MSMEs Survival Fund as part of the administration’s initiative at ensuring job sustainability.
He described the Fund as a cluster of grants to support MSMEs to meet their payroll obligations and safeguard MSMEs jobs from the shock of COVID-19 pandemic.
One highlight of the MSME Survival Fund, according to the minister, is Payroll Support for businesses in health, education, hospitality and food production sectors targeted at 500,000 beneficiaries.
Another, he said, is payment to support self-employed individuals like mechanics and drivers, hair dressers, Keke Napep and Okada riders, plumbers and electricians with a one-time payment of N30,000 for 333,000 beneficiaries.
Mohammed said other initiatives targeted at the youths included N-POWER which had engaged 500,000 beneficiaries with 400,000 more in December.
The minister said the Federal Government FINTECH had created an enabling environment for growth of businesses which use technology to enhance or automate financial services and processes.
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