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Monday, April 15, 2024

FG to extend social security to unemployed graduates

Initiative Aims to Alleviate Economic Hardship and Boost Consumer Power Amid Rising Food Prices

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The Federal Government announced on Monday its intention to expand social security benefits to include unemployed graduates holding qualifications from the Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) level and above.

Speaking to journalists following the Federal Executive Council meeting, Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, unveiled plans for a stipend program aimed at supporting unemployed Nigerian youths, particularly recent graduates.

“In light of the current challenges posed by heightened food prices, President Buhari is committed to providing assistance to the most vulnerable segments of society,” Edun stated. “As part of these efforts, the government will introduce a Social Security unemployment program tailored to address the needs of young job seekers and the broader community.”

Edun further disclosed that the government would swiftly establish a consumer credit scheme to mitigate the economic pressures faced by citizens.

“The establishment of a social consumer credit program will enhance affordability and stimulate economic recovery by empowering individuals with greater purchasing power,” he explained.

The initiative, to be spearheaded by Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila, alongside key ministers, aims to provide accessible credit options to citizens, thereby facilitating increased consumption and economic activity.

Additionally, Edun provided insights into the outcomes of the Special Presidential panel on the National Social Investment Programme, which recently submitted its preliminary report to President Buhari.

Highlighting the review’s key findings, Edun emphasized the importance of robust identification mechanisms to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of social benefit programs.

“Moving forward, all beneficiaries will be authenticated through their national identity numbers and bank verification numbers to prevent duplications and ensure transparency in disbursements,” he affirmed.

Supporting Edun’s remarks, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijjani, emphasized the significance of leveraging existing data infrastructure to streamline beneficiary identification processes.

“The convergence of data from the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and the National Identity Number (NIN) will enable us to effectively validate individuals and prevent fraudulent claims,” Tijjani stated, underscoring the government’s commitment to fair and accountable distribution of social benefits.

The government’s initiatives underscore a concerted effort to address socio-economic challenges and bolster citizen welfare in the face of mounting economic pressures. As Nigeria navigates through these turbulent times, these measures represent pivotal steps towards fostering resilience and inclusive growth within the society.

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