The Presidency on Monday said President Muhammadu Buhari never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5,000 monthly.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said this in an interview with State House correspondents.
Akande, whose boss, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo supervises the economy, spoke while reacting to statement credited to Buhari in which the President ruled out the possibility of his government paying N5,000 monthly allowance to unemployed youths in the country as promised by his party, the All Progressives Congress, ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
He said the provision the government made in the 2016 Budget currently before the National Assembly is to pay N5,000 monthly to one million extremely poor Nigerians, and not the unemployed graduates.
He said the promise to the poor still stands.
He explained that a provision for half a trillion naira had been made in the budget for social investment, which he said included the payment for the extremely poor.
Akande said, “The budget for 2016 which has been submitted to the National Assembly has made an allocation of half a trillion naira, the first time in the history of this country’s budget where you have that huge chunk of money allocated for social investment.
“In that N500bn which is half a trillion naira, close to about 20 per cent of the entire budget, there are six social safety net programmes.
“One of them is the Conditional Cash Transfer where government is going to pay N5,000 monthly to the vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians. That promise stands.
“The President never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5,000; the President never made that promise and the government never made that claim that it will pay N5,000 to unemployed graduates.
“The programme for unemployed graduates is the direct creation of half a million teaching jobs so that they will be trained; 500, 000 unemployed graduates will be trained to teach and they will be deployed to teach, while they are looking for their career paths or jobs. That still stands!
“In addition to that, there is also a scheme to train 370, 000 non-graduate youths for skill acquisition and vocational training. During the time of that training, they will also be paid.