•Ogbeh says FG pressing ahead with ranches for cattle
By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi
The Federal Government (FG) will start the first roll out of its N500 billion intervention scheme tomorrow.
The intervention programme includes a conditional cash transfer that will pay N5,000 monthly to one million Nigerians and a micro-credit scheme for more than 1.5 million people.
Other aspects of the scheme include the home grown school feeding programme which will serve 5.5 million pupils and the education support grant programme for 100,000 tertiary students in Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) and education.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this in Abuja at the inaugural “Buharimeter Town hall Meeting”, organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), yesterday.
The town hall meeting, the second in the series, was organised to evaluate one year of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Giving further insight into how the programme will be run, Mohammed said government will, on Saturday, open an internet portal named “npower.gov.ng” and start taking applications for the 500,000 direct teacher job scheme.
He said other schemes in the social investment programme would be rolled out in the coming weeks.
The minister assured that while there was still much work to be done, the administration neither lacked the political will nor the discipline and the determination to fulfill its electoral promises and take Nigeria to greater heights.
“The change we promised is real and with the takeoff of our massive social intervention programmes in a few days, Nigerians will begin to feel the impact of the new order.’’
Mohammed reiterated that the government had delivered on its three campaign mantra – to tackle insecurity, fight corruption and revamp the economy.
His counterpart in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who also presented government’s scorecard at the event, said it would build standard ranches across the country for grazing of cattle.
He said the decision was to end the herdsmen/farmers clashes which had led to loss of many lives and property and for optimal gains for cattle rearing and assured that government will not encroach on any individual land in achieving this goal, adding that state governments would be carried along.
Ogbeh disclosed that 67,000 farmers engaged in dry season rice farming in the year and 350,000 tons of rice was expected to be harvested in Kebbi, Kano and Jigawa.
The minister said government would continue to encourage farmers to use more of irrigation rather than waiting for the raining season before they farm.
He also said the government would train 10,000 agricultural extension officers to address the challenges of farmers in the rural areas.
Director of CDD, Ms Idayat Hassan, said the forum was to assess the Buhari administration based on its 221 campaign promises.