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The presidency says no fewer than 6.8 million Nigerians out of the projected 10 million have benefited from the national social investment programme.

Laolu Akande, senior special assistant on media and publicity to the Vice-President, made the announcement in a statement issued on Tuesday.

He said the figure represents nearly 70 percent success rate in the implementation of the programme.

According to Akande, besides the 6.8 million direct beneficiaries, 1.75 million persons comprising cooks, farmers, poor and vulnerable household members have also been impacted as secondary beneficiaries of the programme.

He said all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT are participating actively in at least one aspect of the programme.

Akande said under the national social safety net programme, 439,859 poor and vulnerable households were identified and enumerated in 5,538 communities in 23 states.

He said such persons would be drawing benefits including cash transfers.

According to him, 297,973 caregivers in eligible households are already benefiting from the cash transfer programme.

The media aide explained that 6,044,625 pupils in 20 states are being fed under the home-grown school feeding programme.

He added that 246 million meals had been served to pupils in 33, 981 primary schools by the 61, 352 cooks engaged for the programme.

According to him, six more states would join the feeding programme in the first quarter of 2018, thus increasing the number of benefiting states to 26.

Akande disclosed that 259,451 loans were successfully issued through the government enterprise and empowerment programme across 36 states and FCT, out of the 478, 388 eligible beneficiaries whose applications were processed.

On the N-Power scheme, Akande said 200,000 volunteers were recruited nationwide while another set of 300,000 graduate volunteers have been pre-selected for the next round of the programme.

“When fully engaged half a million unemployed graduates would have been engaged receiving their N30,000 monthly stipend and equipped with an electronic device that prepares them with new skills and ideas beyond the duration of the N-Power,” he said.

“The volunteers are being engaged for N-Agro, the agricultural component of the scheme, N-Tax, designed to support the FIRS, N-Health and the N-Teach.

“Under the N-Build, 10,000 artisans were verified, supplied with toolboxes for three months training and assigned to 160 skills centres in 22 states.

“No fewer than 20,000 persons are about to take off in hardware, creativity and software category training.

“In addition, the cost-benefit analysis of the programme indicates that a careful implementation of the programmes would deliver a positive return to the country’s GDP both in the short and long terms.”

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