The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, says the federal government has earmarked N100 billion for the family home fund under its Social Investment Programme, SIP.
He stated this at the “2nd year commemorative event of the federal government of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari’’, showcasing the achievements of the SIP, in Abuja.
At the event, also titled “A Smile For Every Nigerian,” Mr. Osinbajo stated that the fund is an aspect of the SIP that was not mentioned.
“There is also an aspect of this SIP that has not be mentioned; this is N100 billion set aside for the Family Home Fund, our Social Housing Project.
“The N100 billion is a yearly contribution to our N1 trillion social housing fund. This is the largest in the history of the country.
“The World Bank, AFDB, are contributors to the fund.
“From this fund developers of real estates for social housing will borrow 80 per cent of cost of project and counter fund with their own 20 per cent.
“The same fund will enable us to provide inexpensive mortgages for hundreds of thousands across the country who want to own homes on their own.
“Anyone who can afford 30000 a month will be able to buy a home under our new social housing fund scheme.’’
According to him, the Family Housing Fund is expected to start immediately and rapidly expand construction across the country.
Mr. Osinbajo stated that SIP is clearly one of the largest social intervention efforts anywhere in the world.
According to him, it is complicated and diverse in scale and scope.
He, however, expressed the government’s pride in the men and women led by the Special Adviser on Social investments, Maryam Uwais, who he said, had dedicated so much time, resources and energy to deliver on it.
The acting president reacted to the praises made about SIP from the beneficiaries and said they deserved it
“We do not consider that this programme is a favour that is done to you. It is not.
“You deserve this programme because you are citizens of this country; this country can provide and we will provide for all those who need the help,’’ he said.
He said the N30,000 stipend might not be much but could really assist anyone who was jobless for long.
He announced that the next phase of this programme would proceed on a surer footing as the government would be reopening the portals for N-Power on the June 13.
“We are ramping up on the CCT, GEEP, and the Home Grown School Feeding; our targets are clear, soon enough we will put smiles on the faces of millions more.”
The acting president noted that a country’s economic development was a function of the number living above poverty level noting that the nation’s levels of poverty were so alarming and clearly needed some fundamental interventions by government.
He said that often the country’s economic development plans and budgets assumed a trickle-down approach namely that if resources were put in promoting industry and commerce, jobs would eventually be created and the poorest would be reached.
He added that another premise was that GDP growth should translate to jobs but described the idea as flawed.
“First the trickle-down model has proved far too slow to stem the tide of poverty in one of the fastest growing populations in the world.
“Secondly, most of the growth was on account of the high oil sector which is capital intensive but not labour intensive.
“So, while we were recording growth levels of 7 per cent because of the high oil prices unemployment figures grew.’’
He said in developing the APC manifesto and later government’s economic development plans, government knew that it had to directly intervene with a massive social investment programme to tackle poverty and exclusion in the society.
Mr. Osinbajo said he was proud that Nigeria had demonstrated that a massive programme could be initiated and managed on-line.
“The N-Power programme is the largest post tertiary jobs programme in Africa. We now know that we can train large numbers of people electronically.
“We have demonstrated that a transparent process of employment is possible.
“All of these young men and women have testified that they knew nobody, paid nobody to get the jobs they now have shown us that it is possible to run a programme that is transparent
“We have achieved great success in our financial inclusion efforts by bringing in many especially the extremely poor in the hinterlands into the formal banking system.
“Beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer programme, home grown school feeding vendors and cooks, now have BVNs and bank accounts.
“We have also demonstrated that electronic payment on such a huge scale, across the nation is possible.’’
He said the administration ensured that its programmes were in all states not just those being run by APC governors.
According to him, some of the governors in non- APC states have taken the credit for some of the federal government programmes.
Godwill Apkabio, former Akwa Ibom governor and minority leader in the senate, told State House correspondents that the opposition was happy to be invited to the event.
According to Mr. Akpabio, poverty, unemployment and hunger have no political party leanings.
He, therefore, said that his party would support any federal programme with the capacity to address such problems.