August 10, 2015


As the 100 days of the new Nigerian government led by Muhammadu Buhari approach, keen watchers are already putting pen on papers on how far the President has gone in fulfilling his campaign promises. This is important not just because it is a practice all over the world but the fact that the new government enjoyed tremendous goodwill among Nigerians with the mantra of “change” that brought him to power. Besides, the President before swearing-in came up with 100 days promise which was widely circulated especially in the social media. Though the issue of welfare programme or social security programme wass not part of 100 days promise, this piece would examine how practicable is the ones mouthed by the President during the electioneering campaign.

N5, 000 to the Unemployed and N5, 000 to the Poor

To be paying N5, 000 to the unemployed or yet to be employed and N5,000 to the poor every month is indeed a noble idea with the high level of poverty ravaging the country. One may be curious to ask whether this approach is welfarist programme or mere handout. Someone calls it fund transfer as being presently packaged by the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP). Though government said this money would be sourced through blocking of leakages, it has been argued that the amount accrued from blocking leakages might not be enough to handle this scheme. At least, since inauguration, the federal government has not come up with the structure upon which the scheme would be carried out.

The Unanswered Questions

Can federal government attempt to answer these questions? Will money gotten from leakage blocking be enough to fund the scheme?  If not, what are other sources of this fund with the dwindling oil prices and currency devaluation in Nigeria’s monolith economy? What is the accurate number of unemployed or the poor we have in the country? How do you determine those who are actually poor? Will it be implemented in all the 36 states and FCT or APC controlled states? Will it stop the one being carried out by NAPEP?  When will the scheme kick off and for how long, especially for the poor? Which government Ministry/Department or Agency will handle it? How would the government curb nepotism and other usual vices in a scheme like this?  Did APC as a party really think on all these before they presented it as a campaign strategy?

With the challenges associated with accuracy of population figure in Nigeria, one doubts whether this scheme will ever yield the desired fruits. Another thing you cannot rule out from the Nigerian system is the ability of the rent seekers to hijack it for their benefits.  One wonders how this would be different from various subsidies already hijacked by these hawks that come in through political patronage.  The federal government should not forget that the “boys” that carried the flag of “change” to different crannies of Nigeria where the president could not get to then need one reward or the other.  Today, it is not unlikely that the evils associated with SURE-P of the immediate past government may also befall this new scheme.

Way Out?

While is commendable that the Buhari led government has good plans for the lower class in the country, it is not too early in the day to begin to start putting its cards on the table. It is advisable that all the questions above are answered genuinely and accurately and presented to Nigerians the same way campaign was carried out.  Though no one can blame Nigerians from being impatient, it is important Nigerians give more time to the government to come out with implementation plans while government should come out with clear date, month (and year?) when the dividends will start trickling in!

"Sola Oluwadare, a public policy analyst, is the Communications Manager, African Heritage Institution."


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *