FG: Poor, Vulnerable Nigerians Benefiting from World Bank’s $500m Credit

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• George seeks removal of Osinbajo over disbursement of traderMoni

Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja and Segun James in Lagos

The federal government’s special intervention programmes under the Social Safety Net’s coordinating office yesterday said it has received a boost of $500 million credit from the World Bank.

This is coming as the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-west, Chief Bode George, has called for the removal of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for what he described as “executive recklessness and abuse office” in the disbursement of the N10,000 ‘tradermoni’ to market women in Lagos State and Abuja.

The National Coordinator, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office(NASSCO), Iorwa Apera , who stated this in Abuja yesterday while speaking with journalists said the federal government is utilising a three-year World Bank grant to the tune of $500 million to energise its special intervention programmes, which include conditional cash transfers and youth development initiatives.

While explaining the activities of NASSCO and the Social Safety net’s programmes of the current administration, Apera said the programmes, including the Conditional Cash Transfer, the Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operations (YESSO) and the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP), were also being funded with the $322 million Abacha loot received from the Government of Switzerland.

He said the data of the poor and vulnerable being captured in the states by NASSCO is difficult to hijack by politicians, adding that the register is compiled with direct inputs from affected communities.

While defending the decision to divert funds like the Abacha loot towards social safety nets, Apera said studies have found that 68 percent of cash transferred to pregnant women at the rate of N5,000 goes into consumables.

Meanwhile, the leader of PDP in the South-west region, Chief Bode George, has called for the removal of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for what he described as “executive recklessness and abuse office” in the disbursement of the N10,000 ‘tradermoni’ to market women in Lagos State and Abuja.

George, who was the keynote speaker in a one-day colloquium tagged: ‘The South West Speaks’ held at the Muson Centre yesterday, said the market money being distributed was never budgeted for.

He therefore wondered where the money came from, adding that “in more civilised nations, Osinbajo would have been sacked and prosecuted for gutting our collective treasury.”

The PDP leader said he was surprised to see the vice president, “a learned man, an enlightened person in all parameters, was seen at various markets in Lagos State and Abuja distributing N10,000 each to market women. What an absurdity!”

He also came down heavily on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies of been “biased, compromised and outright lying agents in their support for the ruling party” in recent elections held in Ekiti and Osun States.

At the end of the event, which had in attendance, the PDP governorship candidate in Lagos State, Chief Jimi Agbaje; former minister, Chief Ebenezer Babatope; former deputy governor of Lagos state, Senator Kofo Akerele-Bucknor, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, PDP national vice chairman, Dr. Eddy Olafeso; Prof. Banjo Akitoye, Senator Bode Olajumoke, former ministers, Mrs. Module Adelaja, Erelu Olusola Obada, Otunba Johnson Fasaweand Elder Wole Oyelese among others, the gathering in a communiqué stated that “in view of the divisive government of President Buhari, the Yoruba people have resolved to adopt the candidature of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for the presidency in the 2019 elections.