Nigeria six social protection programme

Nigeria news has to be taken as a pinch of salt until it actual materialised. Often, what get spread for public consumption is not the entire picture, and other times government officials change their minds without acknowledging errors in prior information for the fear of being criticised.

The other day, I read that Prof Osinbajo had clarified the scheme of free ₦5k for the unemployed graduate – now we learn that the scheme is meant to provide vocational training for unemployed youths, graduates or otherwise. This to me sounds a lot better than cash in hand.

And again, I am treating this lightly until I see/hear ordinary folks down in small towns benefitting.

I suppose it is safe to treat this infographics as authentic given Prof Osinbajo signed6 Social protection programmes it.

I am hoping that one day there will be a follow up document that explains the highlighted areas in the infographic as it will help greatly.

Looking at point 3 – The monthly unconditional cash transfer of ₦5k for the extremely poor Nigerians. Who are these extremely poor Nigerians and how are their condition assessed? Here I am only curious and no ulterior motive whatsoever. However, in the last few years whenever the talk about poor Nigerians came up, the eye is in the northern part of the country. So we have lots of essential poverty alleviation programs from Unicef providing cash in hand for girls to stay in school and last regime providing Aljamari schools for begging street children.

Additionally, we have  questionable programs with government paying millions of naira so adult men could marry their third or fourth wife, and adult women re marry their third or fourth husband as the previous ones conveniently drove them out, while the children roam the streets. That, and the pilgrimage for many people who would never have spent their hard-earned cash on such a trip.

Yet, genuinely, poverty is rife – no kidding. But, where do we draw the line so leaders are held accountable?

Here is another angle, the one we ignore to talk about. Today in the south, we have people who are almost if not on the same level in ‘poverty class’ as some folks in the north, but this may not be that obvious as they are tucked away in our villages and small towns.

As a teenager, I used to live in a house in the late ’80s in the ‘rich’ south with a family who hailed from Gbongan – I have never seen anyone this poor in my life, so poor Baba Rọ́pò had to wash his clothes with a fist sized stone to scrub the stains off. Their food is horrible. One day my sisters and I returned from school holiday to learn that Baba Rọ́pò had died. He died after vomiting bucket filled with green stuff, and of course no hospital visit whatsoever because you need money for that.

More recently, three years ago, my sister helped with collating some information in town as a group were looking into providing solar lanterns to selected students. She helped so the most vulnerable ones get this.

There are some areas in town where the local crisis hits really badly 18 years ago,  many people, especially elderly still live in half burnt houses because there is no where else to go and their farms had been seized. She was especially emotional with an elderly man who was blind in one eye and had nowhere to turn to.

I know my focus is in the town that I am familiar with, it is the same case for folks in Ile-Ife and not too surprising that travelling throughout our SW even areas with no local crisis, we still have lots of people like this.

Example of this is the osinbajo-father picture of Prof Osinbajo took during campaign in Ogun state. It is not enough to take photos of the villagers just to get votes, it is important to incorporate these people into the plan as well.

To see how terrible this is in the south for some folks, one needs to visit our villages especially the schools, roads – they don’t bite, anyone can do this and I am hoping Prof would trace his steps back to the campaign routes.

My point here is that, this time let’s make it all inclusive social welfare, and this means the 1M people the scheme intends to help reach the poorest of all our regions.

 



Categories: Education, Myths I grow up with, Nigeria, Politics

Tags: , ,

8 replies

  1. I think this is a marvellous point you raised. Many middle class Nigerians seem to think that Nigeria is like a rich oil producing Arab state, the ‘poor’ regions lie north of the river Niger. They use ‘poverty’ to look down and throw insults at the people from that region, not realising that poverty abounds in their own ‘neck of the woods’, even within their hometowns.
    Nigerians should start taking poverty seriously, and not use it as means to win more money from central government and enrich oneself or deny others their due. Anyone can be poor, we have seen the gigantic efforts other nations have taken to reduce poverty eg China (the People’s Republic), and Brazil. They have populations that exceed Nigeria’s and a landscape many times larger and more diverse. So if they can do it, the challenge is on Nigeria to follow suit, rather than humiliating themselves by constantly begging for aid from international donors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is right jco. I used to think the decay is just in my area, but that is not true. My sister served in a Calabar village a few years ago, (pity I did not make it there to visit) the news is exactly the same. In her case, students would miss school because they had to go to the local market to sell goods on ‘market day’ (that is how their tuition get paid). My sister thought that was worse but I told her stories of people doing the same thing in our area – it is the same story in the south but these politicians have consumed so many of our people that we focus on the city as if they represent all of us.

      I believe if many of the political representatives travel to a few of the areas under them, they’d get true sense of state of things. They don’t do that do, they stay in the capital speaking gibberish.

      It is no brainer why many people are poor. The schools close to them in the village have been abandoned, their roads are terrible, to get goods to market is costly for them hence in our villages, many oranges, grapes rot away… the list goes on.

      That aid only helps the pot-bellied people and it is depressing they keep begging in everyone’s name.

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      • Do we know how to govern ourselves? What you have described is disastrous if not critical. Yet the government is not serious about tackling this problem. A balance has to be struck between the cities and rural areas. We can see in Nigeria this has not been met across the board. This will only stoke up dissatisfaction which will change into violent expression as we have already seen in the South-South and North East, seems like can’t learn very basic lessons. You are the only person I know that talks of the concerns of the rural folk. The north is reaching a tipping point and the south is not far behind. This is no time for government gimmicks.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Agree, that we do not learn basic lessons. Many people wouldn’t talk about rural folk because there is stigma attached to it. But they are happy to reference the same folk to get aid.

          In the south, the problem started long ago. When Awolowo was very active, he maintained all the schools both primary and secondary schools that were strategically earmarked by the colonial so farmers can send their children to school where they live.

          From the 80’s, these schools see absolutely no maintenance so farmers had to work harder to send their children to better school in town – in order words these guys pay more for state/federal funded schools than their counterparts in town/cities.

          I read the other day someone talking about how terrible it is that cocoa production has gone significantly down compared to the time of Awolowo – I just shook my head. How can you talk about cocoa production without talking about the people who produces it? Farmers get the lowest price for their produce, they can not compete by taking the goods to town because of bad roads, so they wait in the village and take whatever the middlemen give them – the result? Incentive was down, people look for food crops that they have more control over the price i.e cassava, plantain, pepper etc – it is no brainer, Nigeria we remain this way until we find a way to pull the 60% rural folk as we go.

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          • So why isn’t anyone reviving the late Awolowo’s policies, they have been proven to work? Why are they so unpopular today? Why does Nigeria keep regressing?

            Liked by 1 person

            • I wish I knew all the right answers but I don’t… I do think though that Nigeria one of the reasons we have it tough in Nigeria is lack of solid social plan to be followed through regardless of who is in the office… for now projects get abandoned and time wasted on new projects when existing ones were left to rot away.

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  2. Taken with a pinch of salt as usual, but I honestly do see some really good intention this time around. I just worry that this government is trying to be too good for its own good. There is just this thing about Nigerians that brings out the worst, out of every good laudable effort.

    El-rufai has just started the feeding of primary school pupils this week in Kaduna. Guess what?! Cost of all the staple food items tripled in two days and all because of one good policy…….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, great this coming from you… I have good feelings too, maybe real change will come in our lifetime.

      I would not worry about the cost of food going up, I would think El-Rufai should have anticipated this reaction and had plans to protect the citizens whose salary isn’t increasing. If they source food directly from farmers and or make deal with factories for bulk purchase, market traders will have no choice but to keep their price where it belonged otherwise they’d eat all the ‘tuwo’ on their own.

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