The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, says the President Muhammadu Buhari administration will continue to focus on the common man and taking Nigerians out of poverty through social investment programmes.
Osinbajo gave the assurance during a townhall meeting on Tuesday in Bariga/Somolu LCDA in Lagos State to felicitate with Lagosians on the Sallah celebrations.
In a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, said Osinbajo emphasised on unity among all Nigerians.
Osinbajo addressed a gathering comprising All Progressives Congress(APC) chieftains in the state, youth groups, state government officials and the LCDA Chairmen of Somolu and Bariga.
The vice president said that the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP) was geared towards improving the welfare of ordinary Nigerians.
“The President’s focus has always been on the common man.
“So, when we came, we decided on a few things to tackle youth unemployment; first, the N-Power programme to engage as many young people who are graduates as possible.
“We started with 200,000, and just this month, we have employed another 300,000.
“So, in our N-Power programme, we have 500,000 young graduates who are employed in the programme. Now every local government in Nigeria has N-Power graduate.”
Osinbajo said that the Buhari administration had been able to embark on the completion of more infrastructure projects and achieve more with less funds because of honesty and the seriousness of the administration to improve the country’s fortunes.
“In the past four years of the previous administration, over 393 billion dollars was earned in oil proceeds alone. In the past three years, we have earned 94 billion dollars, look at the difference.
“The reasons are very straightforward. The price of oil was about half of what it used to be, but with the same 94 billion dollars, we have been able to do far more.
“When we got into office, 24 states had not paid salaries for over six months and we ensured that these salaries were paid.
“President Buhari said then, `Look, I have been a salary earner all my life, I have never done any business; the only thing I ever done is government work, either as a soldier or in government.
“I cannot imagine how anybody can go to sleep as a governor without paying the salaries of his workers, so, we made sure that we paid salaries and we have done so many other things.
“In investments, look at the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, for almost 12 years with all that money, it was never done. Now we have set about and we are doing it, we will complete it,” Osinbajo said.
He also cited the Lagos-Kano railway project which he said would be completed.
The vice president said the Buhari administration would continue to support petty traders and small businesses to ensure that more Nigerians were taken out of poverty.
He listed other interventions as Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme(GEEP), a micro-credit scheme for market women and TraderMoni for petty traders, of which at least 100,000 would benefit in Lagos and two million across the country.
Osinbajo said that the focus of the Buhari administration was, first of all, to ensure that people were taken out of poverty and provide support to anybody who was doing anything ranging from traders to artisans and mechanics.