The Federal Government’s Social Intervention Programme aimed at ameliorating the sufferings of vulnerable people in the country in the society is expected to generate employment for 500,000 graduates and train over 300,000 Nigerians.
President Muhammadu Buhari made this known on Thursday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 45th/10th Biennial Conference of the Methodist Church of Nigeria with the theme “Chosen to Bear Fruits’’ (John 15:16b).
Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, said that the government would soon begin the disbursement of N500 billion earmarked for the programme.
“The Social Intervention Programme will commence in no distant time with the disbursement of N500, 000 earmarked in the 2016 budget for the purpose.
“There are other government policies set in motion with similar intentions.
“We believe that these programmes will help reduce unemployment among our teeming youths and address other challenges which make our society vulnerable to crimes and social vices.’’
He said that the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrowers’ programme designed to assist farmers was yielding the desired result as bumper harvest was expected this year.
He also said that the insecurity posed by the activities of the insurgents, herdsmen and Niger Delta militancy had adversely affected the national economy and threatened peaceful co-existence in the country.
“The stronger firepower of the military has defeated and dislodged the Boko Haram insurgents and government is presently engaged in the reconstruction of affected communities and the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
“Government has resolved to acquire expansive areas of land for grazing reserves in strategic locations all over the country with a view to stemming the menace of herdsmen/farmers’ clashes.
“The Niger Delta Militants are being offered the benefit of dialogue to avert the persistent destruction of oil pipelines in the area, “the President said.
He assured Nigerians that the recent policy pronouncement with respect to petroleum products pricing and currency exchange rates were done with the best of intentions and for the greater good of the nation.
In his speech, the Prelate, Dr. Samuel Emeka, advised the government to diversify the economy by harnessing other God-given resources such as land and solid minerals.
“We must utilise our vast arable land for massive food production as in the era of Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Michaal Okpara, other Nothern and Southern leaders respectively.
“We should engage our young people in commercial agriculture by utilising our vast fertile land seriously and judiciously.
“We have no reason to import food items from abroad because God has given us all what we need in this country.”
He further urged the government not to shy away from taxation to boost revenue generation.
The prelate appealed to leaders at the federal, state and local government levels to take the necessary measures to secure lives and property of Nigerians.