Conditional Cash Transfer, Other Welfare Schemes Of Buhari Administration Laudable – Labour Leader
The proposed social welfare programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, especially the conditional cash transfer scheme, has received the backing of a workers’ union in the country.
President Buhari had in the 2016 budget proposal he presented to the National Assembly, set aside a huge sum of N500 billion to be spent on social intervention programmes that include Teach Nigeria; Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT); Homegrown School Feeding; Free Education for science and technology students in tertiary institutions; and Youths Empowerment Program.
Giving its support for the administration’s lofty ideals, the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, through its General Secretary, Comrade Issa Aremu, said labour was supportive of the policy and would participate in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President.
Mr. Aremu, a former Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, stated this while speaking during the 40th day prayer held for his late wife, Hamdalat Aremu in Kaduna yesterday.
The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, personally led other labour leaders to the prayers.
Recalling how his late wife’s philanthropy helped the needy, the NUTGTWN leader commended the Buhari administration for setting aside N500 billion out of the N6.08 trillion budget proposal for 2016 to cater for the various schemes it intends to implement, which he noted has a direct bearing on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
“My wife would certainly have been excited to read that in this year’s budget, President Muhammadu Buhari has set aside some N500 billion as direct social transfers or conditional cash transfer programme for the poorest and most vulnerable.
“The Office of the Vice President as directed by the President, must work with NLC and TUC to realize this objective”. Mr. Aremu said.
“There is a link between support for those who are losing out in this country’s callous market rat race and economic growth. The organized labour movement is ready to assist the Federal Government to make this programme a success,” he declared.
“The good deed of my wife showed that cash transfers to the vulnerable, not only assist the vulnerable but help in their physical and economic growths. Through direct cash transfers by my wife, some girls and boys in our extended families and beyond completed their education, even became graduates and achieved their dreams”.
“The conditional, legitimate transfers should serve as the basis for a national comprehensive social security programme for Nigeria. As a worthy investment in our country’s human infrastructure, not stomach infrastructure, it is as important an investment as physical infrastructure”.
“I commend President Buhari for looking at the faces of absolutely 70 million poor Nigerians, who are living on less than a dollar per day and making them to access national resources as a matter of right, not of abuse as some corrupt politicians do on the eve of elections”, Aremu concluded.
Mr. Aremu, who also hailed the free school feeding programmes of some state governments, renewed his call for gender mainstreaming in Nigeria.
“It is time we intensified the advocacy for gender mainstreaming. Governments and corporate organizations must mainstream women in the families, at workplaces, government and society at large”, he said.