The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, on Monday disclosed that President Bola Tinubu has directed the design of a Social Security unemployment program where unemployed Nigerian youths will be paid.

The Minister disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided by President Tinubu at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja

According to him, “At this period of heightened food prices, Mr. President has committed to doing all that can be done to assist in giving purchasing power to the poorest and in that line, he has committed and instructed that the Social Security unemployment program be devised, particularly to cater for the youth, for the unemployed graduates, as well as the society as a whole.

“So, we have coming, in the nearest future, an unemployment benefit for the young unemployed, in particular.”

Similarly, Mr. Edun said there will be a consumer credit scheme to alleviate the pains of economic adjustment.

He said, “Finally, all in the same line, to emphasize that there is empathy and there is feeling for those who are less well off, or feeling particularly the pains of this adjustment, there is coming a social consumer credit programme.

“So, by making consumer credit available, of course, goods become more affordable, the economy even gets a chance to revive faster, because people have purchasing power that allows them to order goods, products,” he stated.

Edun also spoke on the review carried out by the Special Presidential panel on the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which has submitted a preliminary report to the president.

He said that the president gave highlights to the Council meeting noting that what was done was “a review of the existing mechanisms, a review of the existing programmes, and where there have been successes, such as the 400,000 beneficiaries of the Geep programme, and so on and so forth.”

He added: “Those have been identified and recognised. School feeding programme is another example of relative success. And whilst there is still some further work to be done, particularly, as regards availability of the financial data, which is still being looked at, the interim report has been submitted and a key recommendation of the panel was that, especially given the heightened, limited household purchasing power at this time, rising prices, particularly elevated food prices, it’s important to restart the programme.

“So, the direct payments to 12 million households comprising 60 million Nigerians is to resume immediately with the important proviso that every beneficiary will be identified by their national identity number and the bank verification number.

“Therefore, payments will be made into bank accounts or mobile money wallets. So, that whether it is before or after, there is verification of the identity of beneficiaries.

“Each person that receives 25,000 Naira for a total of three months will be identifiable, even after they have received the money, it will be clear who it went to and when it went to them. And that is the big change that has allowed mr. president to approve the restart of that direct payments to beneficiaries programme.”

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