My attention has been drawn to statements credited to the vice president, prof. Yemi Osibanjo over the weekend that the Buhari Administration have ongoing plans to implement one of its striking campaign promises that it will pay N5000 each to the poorest Nigerians across the country monthly.
This is not good for our democracy. In the interest of the Nigerian economy, this campaign promise like that of making 1 Naira equal to $1 and stabilizing world oil prices be dropped.
Social welfare programmes are good but I don’t think this one is feasible, not when we dont have good records in Nigeria, most of the very poor that would need this policy are in deep villages and not when the number of unemployed is more than the employed.
The Government have been complaining on spending too much on re- recurrent expenditure, so why add to it?
Let’s assume we have 20 million poor unemployed persons. Paying N5,000 to each person translates to N100bn every month and N1.2 trillion per annum. That is about 20% of our National budget .
Constructively, I would call on the government to invest this over 20% of our budget on developmental projects that would have much direct effects on the citizens.