The federal government says it has budgeted N5,000 each for one million ‘extremely poor’ Nigerians, with a total of N500 billion allocated for social investment in the 2016 budget. Although the N5,000 monthly stipend is not for unemployed graduates (500,000 unemployed graduates will be trained to teach and deployed to teach) the current administration said it still has plans to empower those who do not have jobs. To you, will this stipend make a difference in the present day economy? Which other safety net would you recommend? ABIMBOLA AKOSILE
* The projected benefits of this laudable idea are highly vitiated by the entrenched corruption and the sense of entitlement on the part of those that will manage its administration and the millions of jobless citizens respectively. I strongly feel the president’s option of applying the funds to boost employment generating ventures would be apposite.
– Mr. Bukola Ajisola, Liberal Mandate Association, Oyin Jolayemi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
* Yes the N5,000 can make a huge difference to the very poor who cannot even make that amount of money in a month no matter what they try. I am in support of the President if such people can be really identified and supported by making a cash transfer of N5,000 every month to them. It will allow help release children for schooling, and free those children that are sent scampering all over the place selling pure water to help augment their parent’s incomes. – Prof. Kate Nwufo, mni, Abuja
* No, it can’t. Too many intricacies will be involved and such complexities may be difficult to manage. Doling out direct cash to poor citizens will encourage total dependence on it, especially during recessions. Such beneficiaries can also hold government to ransom or even willfully destroy lives and properties. The money should be deployed into research, infrastructure, agriculture, electricity, insurgency e.t.c. to provide employment. God bless Nigeria. – Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos
* The president and his party APC should apologise to Nigerians for making such an ambitious promise. What are the criteria that will be used to determine the extremely poor youth? Let PMB revive our sports sectors; we have so many talented youth wasting away that need motivation to excel. – Pastor Obinna Osagu, Akure, Ondo State
* If the naira is N400 to the dollar, that means N5,000 is just $12, the question is what can it buy? President Buhari must know that there is hunger in the land. We need enabling environment for businesses to compete and not N5,000, just as the feeding of school children will be a failure. – Mr. Okechukwu Ikonne, Ogbor Oke-Ovoro Mbaise, Imo State
* The idea of giving monthly stipends to a category of Nigerians is not a bad idea, though not a real solution to poverty reduction neither. However, how does the federal government intend to identify this group of “extremely poor Nigerians”? What are the criteria to be used? The reality of our world today is that it is not the duty of the government to create jobs, but ensure enabling environment for businesses to thrive. If serious-minded small and medium-scale entrepreneurs can access credits with low interest rates, the multiplier effects will be positive on the economy. – Mr. Yommi Oni, Paris, France
* Much has been said about the stipend. However, teach a child how to catch fish rather than giving him the fish i.e. leaving a legacy worthy to be emulated. It does not make any sense; it will only be an avenue for criticism. – Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna
* This proposed N5,000 for the said one million extremely poor Nigerians is an illusory trap that government must avoid to protect our good name and citizenry. What factors determine the extremely poor, who gets what from where, through which reliable process, what are the possibilities of fairness, accessibility, and fear of diversion? Such funds should be better deployed into agriculture, electricity, security and job creation e.t.c. I don’t see any sustainability in such a white elephant project. God bless Nigeria. – Ms. Saiki Tina Ometere, Gboko, Benue State
* I think the N5,000 stipend idea is novel, if implemented. However, there are a variety of uncertainties surrounding it. How long will recipients get it? The danger for recipients to become dependent on it, at all costs, prevents this. How about skills acquisition training instead? – Mr. Ekwenjo Iheanyi Chukwudi, Brainchild Academic Resources (BAR), Apo, Abuja
* The N5,000 stipend cannot make a difference in the lives of Nigerians, as it will rather bring more hardship to the majority. Instead of feeding people with fish everyday at your expense, it is better to teach them how to catch the fish in case you will not be there tomorrow.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna
* No, it won’t. When such easy money fails to come, they rebel, take up arms purchased from the money and disturb public peace and innocent citizens. They may even destroy notable economically viable infrastructures in the false name of vengeance. Even after amnesty for the Niger Delta militants they are still making the region difficult to harvest oil there. Some greedy custodians may steal the money. We have a better option of investing in research, agriculture, education e.t.c. – Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos
* It is a welcome idea for PMB to cancel the N5,000 stipend for unemployed Nigerians and to channel the money into infrastructural development that every Nigerian will enjoy. This is better than sharing money which many unemployed youths will not have the opportunity to get because some cabals in government will hijack the process for selfish interest. The truth is that we don’t have correct data of unemployed youths of Nigeria.
– Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State
* What impact will this stipend make in their lives, bearing in mind that N5,000 may not even buy a small black nylon full of groceries to last a month? Vocational training and provision of seed capital should be considered and adequately implemented. – Miss Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos
* The plan by the Buhari administration to pay N5,000 monthly stipend each, to one million extremely poor Nigerians is incomprehensible. The said stipend is grossly insufficient based on the current economic reality in the country. The money should be used in the setting up of small-scale industries in all local government areas of the country.
– Mr. Neville Kikpoye-Jonathan, President, Abua National Associates, Amalem -Abua, Rivers State
* PMB should use the budgeted money to establish viable commercial farms in selected farming communities to fund education for extremely poor kids. Such kids as orphans and those of poor or aged parents should be protected if the society desires peace. By way of government /private partnership, the model will help in harnessing the creative potentials in such children and also create jobs for the youths and women in the respective host communities. – Mr. Ikpa Matthew, Asokoro, Abuja
* The safety net I am looking forward to is the safety net of speed in implementing the stipends. That should be done immediately the budget is passed because people are really moving deeper into poverty. The most vulnerable of us must come first and soon. The economy will certainly receive a much-needed boost. – Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State
* The N5,000 monthly stipend is a noble idea by the government, but how do you determine the one million beneficiaries? Extremely poor Nigerians are more than one million and so what happens to the others? How will subjective compensation be checked? The data to get these one million citizens, which fall mostly in the youth age bracket, must be accurate, otherwise the process will be dead on arrival. – Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State
Yes, it can: 3
No, it can’t: 6
Radical tip: Trash the idea!
Total no of respondents: 17
Highest location: Lagos (5)
Next Week: Will Ban on Commercial Motorcycles Increase or Reduce Crime?
Although commercial motorcycles popularly known as ‘okada’ were banned from major routes in Lagos State and some states recently, the cyclists are returning to these prohibited routes, with resultant effects on crime in the urban centres. This has prompted Lagos to consider a total ban on commercial motorcycles in the state. While some believe the motorcycles provide a viable means of employment or supplementary income for citizens, others insist they aid and abet criminals to rob members of the public. To you, will a ban on the commercial motorcycles help reduce or increase crime?
Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (March 10 & Monday (March 14) to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, AND firstname.lastname@example.org. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, March 17