Lai Mohammed: No Rift Between Executive and Legislature over 2016 Budget

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Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said there is no disagreement whatsoever between the executive and the legislature over the 2016 Budget, which has been passed by the National Assembly.
Mohammad said the delay in the transmission of the budget from the National Assembly to the president for ascent was a normal process of scrutiny.

The minister stated this during his visit to the management of Leadership Newspaper Group yesterday in Abuja.
‘’There is absolutely no rift, no issue of budget being sent back. Things are just taking their due course,’’ he said.

He noted that it was not and true that the president refused to sign the Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly, adding that: ‘’It takes a few days after the passage for the National Assembly to clean up the document in readiness for the president’s assent.’’

Mohammed stated further that when it is eventually signed into law, it would lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty, thanks to the six focal areas of social intervention contained therein.

“The first is the employment of 500,000 unemployed university graduates who we are going to train as teachers. Secondly we are also employing 370,000 unemployed non-graduates, people with National Diploma and Technical Certificate. The third tranche is the social intervention targeted at 1 million people made up of market women, traders and artisans to be trained and given loans through their cooperatives.

“The fourth one is the home-grown One-Meal-A-Day Programme. Here we are targeting several millions of pupils in primary schools all over Nigeria. The exponential effect of this one meal a day is huge. Even if we are targeting five million pupils and we are giving each of them one egg a day, you are talking about five million eggs that will be provided by our poultry farmers. This will also help to increase the demand for maize and then you are going to employ people all around,” he said.

The minister further revealed that the federal government would also commence the Conditional Cash Transfer to the most vulnerable Nigerians, in collaboration with some development partners, to bring succour to such people.

He said a special bursary scheme would also come on stream to grant scholarships to students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a deliberate effort to support the students financially while also bolstering the nation’s drive for industrialisation.

Mohammed also disclosed that the sum of N350 billion would soon be injected into the economy to enable contractors to resume work on abandoned infrastructural projects, with time line and target on project delivery and job creation.