Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, says the Federal Government’s Social Intervention Programmes will start fully in 2017.
Udoma announced this while responding to questions from some stakeholders on the status of the programmes at the Public Presentation of the 2017 Budget proposals in Abuja on Monday.
He said that N500 billion had been allocated for the programme, which included Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, Nigeria-Power Job Creation Programme, Conditional Cash Transfers and Social Housing Fund.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that N500 billion was allocated for same programmes in the 2016 budget.
Udoma said that 2016 was a year of planning and consultation for the programmes.
“We have to get these programmes right, so excessive consultation and planning have gone into those projects because we don’t want any waste.
“We want to make sure that the funds get to the beneficiaries; you will see full implementation in 2017; that is why the same allocation has been made for the programmes.
“We will not waste time in terms of preparatory work, it has been done already,’’ he said.
Commenting on the level of implementation of the programmes, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, said a lot of processes had gone into the implementation.
Ahmed said that the implementation did not start until September/October.
He added that “In October that the programme picked up, 200,000 youths have been employed and deployed to states to work.
“The home school feeding programme has also taken off in Anambra, Kaduna and Osun and eight other states are ready to join.
“There are a lot of processes that we have to go through to prepare the release of funds for this project.
“We didn’t want a situation where the programme will be like other social protection programmes in the past that the funds were misused.’’
The minister said that a lot of effort was done to identify beneficiaries, to enumerate them, to prepare the personnel that would be working and tracking the progress of the programme.
NAN reports that Federal Government earmarked N185 billion in the 2017 budget for initiatives.
They include the Social Housing Programme, Special Economic Zone Projects, Export-Expansion Grant and Recapitalisation of the Bank of Industry.
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