Presidency Wednesday urged Nigerians to establish more confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari and ignore Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State on his comment that the payment of N5,000 stipends to poor Nigerians was a hoax. It will be recalled that the Presidency on Monday announced that the payment of N5,000 stipends to vulnerable persons in the country had taken off in nine States. Subsumed in the Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT of the Social Investment Scheme, the stipend was a campaign promise of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC during the 2015 election campaigns.
The presidency had in a statement from the Office of the Vice President on Monday stated that: “As part of its determined efforts to touch the lives of Nigerians positively the Buhari administration has now started the payment of N5, 000 monthly stipends to the poorest and the most vulnerable in the country through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of its Social Investment Programmes, SIP. “Under the CCT, one million Nigerians would receive N5000 monthly payments as a form of social safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable as budgeted for in the 2016 Budget.
In the first batch that commenced last week, nine states would be covered, and many of the beneficiaries have already reported receiving their first payments by Friday last week, December 30, 2016. “Funds for the commencement of the payments in four states were released last week to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) – the platform that hosts and validates payments for all government’s social intervention programmes. Funds for another set of five states to complete the first batch of nine states would follow soon”. But in a swift reaction to the development, Governor Fayose repudiated the claims by the presidency, saying it was a mere propagandist mechanism to divert attention from the unprecedented hardship and hunger in the land.
He also challenged the federal government to publish the names and account numbers of the beneficiaries. Meanwhile, when he was asked to react to Fayose’s accusation against to the presidency during a briefing at the end of the meeting of Federal Executive Council, FEC at the presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday, the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina said that it was not in the totem of the present government to lie to Nigerians, saying that the administration was built on integrity and accountability. “On N5, 000 stipend, it was announced specifically from the office of the vice president that the scheme has started in nine states. And then a certain governor came and say it is not true. It is just a matter of who do you believe. “This is a government that is built on integrity and accountability. This government will not lie to Nigerians, does not lie to Nigerians. In fact, anything you hear from this government you can take it to the bank, believe it. “So, if anybody comes and says it is politics, it is not true. Choose who to believe. I can tell you that you should believe this government because this government will not lie to you”, Adesina said.