Abia, SouthEast, Nigeria–Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the present administration is paying N5,000 monthly to over 300,000 of the poorest families across the country.
The vice president said the payment was being done without discrimination along party lines.
Speaking on Thursday in Umuahia at the launch of Abia State Tele-Health Support Centre, Osinbajo said the federal government was giving loans to over 300,000 traders and artisans, feeding 125,624 pupils in 742 schools “and we have 1,569 cooks in total; for microcredit loans under our GEEP scheme, we have given loans to 7,585 small businesses.”
He said the government had so far invested about N2.4 billion of the Social Investment Programmes’ funds in Abia State “and specifically in healthcare, we have the Saving One Million Lives Initiative, which has made available $1.5 million to each state government – including Abia State – to improve the quality of basic healthcare available especially to our women and children.”
The vice president said the federal government’s plan for the nation was a universal health coverage for all Nigerians.
“Health insurance is the most effective way of ensuring access to healthcare when needed and at the same time funding our healthcare system, and ensuring that healthcare personnel are well rewarded,” he said.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to the welfare of all Nigerians, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, regardless of their ethnic or political affiliations.
“This commitment has meant two things. First is President Buhari’s determination to break from the past where the federal government only supported states where the party in office was their own. At the inauguration of the NEC in 2015, he publicly declared that our own NEC will assist every state because poverty in our nation is no respecter of ethnic group, religion or party affiliation. Consequently, as of today the federal government has supported states without discrimination along party lines to the tune of N1.91 Trillion.
“The second is that the Federal government has prioritized social and economic policies and programmes that will bring the greatest benefit to the greatest number of our people. We have examples of these in our Social Investment Programmes.
Today, we are feeding 7.5 million children in our Home-grown School Feeding Programme in 22 States. We have employed 200,000 graduates in our N-Power scheme, 300,000 more are waiting to be formally engaged. Every single local government in Nigeria is covered,” Osinbajo said.
He said the creation of the Abia State Tele-Health Support Centre would reduce the time spent travelling in search of healthcare, or waiting in line to see a doctor in healthcare facilities and close the access-to-healthcare gap between urban and rural areas.
“It will also make Abia State standout, within and outside Nigeria, as a forward-looking, people-centred state; one that is open to new ideas and to life-changing innovation,” the vice president added.