Will FG’s N5,000 stipend to poor Nigerians tackle poverty?

Those facing poverty do not need an amount as low as what the government is giving to move away from the poverty facing them. The truth of the matter is that the government ’ s action is nothing but throwing money away.
Let me also say that the payment of N 5 , 000 to millions of poor Nigerians is not sustainable. It is playing politics with something as serious as poverty alleviation and that cannot help Nigerians in the current situation.
That somebody is poor does not mean they do not have the entrepreneurial skills that can make them rich if they get adequate funding at their disposal . That is what should be done . • Steven Okodudu , (Professor of Sociology , University of Port Harcourt)
The good thing is that the payment of N 5 , 000 stipend to poor Nigerians was part of the campaign promises of the current All Progressives Congress - led Federal Government and it has started implementing it. But , I think the value of N 5 , 000 is no longer what it was when the promise was made . The value has been overtaken by the impact of the present economic situation in the country.
Right now, N 5 , 000 cannot sustain anybody for a week. All the same, the payment of the stipend should be implemented in a way that will make as much impact as it can , and I think if it is implemented all round , it can still make some impacts .
But I think the scheme has to be reviewed if it is actually going to help alleviate poverty in the country . The sum should be reviewed upwards , to about N 15 , 000 .
Be that as it may , the best approach is to create jobs. Why pay somebody N 5 , 000 for doing nothing , unless such a person is handicapped? So , the best option is to create jobs. I don ’ t think paying N5 , 000 stipend to a number of Nigerians every month is an effective way to tackle poverty.
What is the percentage of Nigerians collecting the money ? Bear in mind that even Nigerians , who earn more than N100 , 000 monthly , are also facing hardship much less those that receive only N5 , 000.
Federal Government should do everything possible to fix the economy . They should ensure steady supply of power , put the roads in order and initiate sound policies that will boost investment in all the key sectors . If the economy is in order, there will be no need to pay stipends to anybody , apart from the physically - challenged and the elderly . • Chukwuma Igbokwe ( Chairman , Trade Union Congress, Enugu State )
The money certainly cannot tackle the problem of poverty in Nigeria. Even if you give somebody N 100 , 000 today , it can ’ t tackle poverty.
What the beneficiaries can do is to invest the N5 , 000 in small trades like ground nuts, plantain and other petty trading so that they will be able to make some gains , which will solve part of their existential problems .
The beneficiaries should not see the money as a bail- out . They should try and invest it in anything that can generate some profits no matter how little . Our people should also stop depending on white collar jobs and learn vocations and other trades which they can set up by themselves .
The government should pay the N 5 , 000 in addition to looking for other ways of boosting the economy to make the lives of the majority of the people better . • Prof . Siyan Oyeweso (Lecturer , Osun State University)
The money is not the kind of thing that can take people out of poverty. It was part of the All Progressives Congress ’ campaign promises and when the time of implementation came and funds were not being made available in the 2016 budget , Nigerians said the APC- led government was not able to fulfill the campaign promise.
These people understand what cash transfer payments are . They are not meant to eradicate poverty in its entirety . They are just like pocket money ( for instance , for a school child ) . Such funds are for cushioning effect purposes and not to get that person out of poverty . It is given in the hope that the beneficiary will get something doing in future , which will take the person out of poverty.
There are different forms of cash transfers . In Brazil or Latin America , there are funds that are given to pupils or students as transport money . It is meant to just take them to school and then get back home . It is just like the Federal Government’ s school feeding programme. These are transfer payments in kind ; they are not meant to take the beneficiary out of poverty. If we are able to know those who have benefited , then we will be able to know the impact on their lives.
To get people out of poverty, so many things really have to be done . The most important thing for us to get out of recession and poverty is the provision of infrastructure and basic amenities such as road, railway, water and electricity . If we have say 20 hours of electricity per day , the artisans who use electricity for their work will not feel the recession as they have power to do their work. Jobs will come and they will make money .
Secondly, our institutions are weak . You discover that people who are put in offices have personalised those provisions . They turn their offices into establishments for their personal gains . Nepotism , political patronage and praise - singing have taken over how we run our offices. The rule of law and all the rules that govern the procedures of those offices are no longer there.
The government needs to identify the real poor , who actually need the money . They should not make it as an avenue for settling some political followers or some individuals who assisted them during the elections and so on . It should be given to the core poor , who will appreciate it more ; these are the people they should target . • Prof. Abdughafar Ijaiya ( Lecturer , Department of Economics , University of Ilorin )
The level of poverty in the country is very high and far beyond what can be addressed by the payment of N 5 , 000 monthly to vulnerable Nigerians . While the payment is commendable , it is not sufficient in getting people out of poverty because it is not a model that is sustainable .
The rate of poverty in the country is quite alarming. I will say rather than pay N5 , 000 monthly to vulnerable Nigerians , the government should intensify efforts in creating an enabling environment that will promote investments in key sectors of the economy .
In doing this , there is a need to ensure transparency in the management of the foreign exchange market by narrowing the spread between the official and black market rates .
It is only when you have investments that jobs can be created because when people are employed , they earn income through wages or salaries and their purchasing power rises , thus increasing the standard of living .
The 2017 budget has been well formulated to take the country out of recession and this is a step in the right direction for this year . But , what we need now is better monitoring and evaluation of the budget , particularly in the area of capital projects . This is because most of the factors directly causing inflation and increasing poverty are structural issues that have to do with poor infrastructure.
So , it is more sustainable to create the much- needed environment to attract investments than pay N 5 , 000 to some people . • Godwin Eohoi ( The Registrar , Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria )

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