The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on indigent Nigerians to take advantage of the social safety nets being provided by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as such interventions are aimed at ensuring that government’s impact is felt by the most vulnerable citizens of Nigeria.

Director General of NOA, Garba Abari made the call at a one-day Interactive Session on Social Safety Net Programmes organized by the Agency in Abuja for its officers across the nation, noting that “Nigeria owes a the sacred duty to the most vulnerable segments of our society to protect them from the worst impact of the current economic challenges”.

Abari said the session was organized as part of NOA’s capacity building for its staff to ensure that the ordinary Nigerian in the rural areas not only understand the social safety net programmes, but also know how to take advantage of the opportunities that will be provided by the programmes. He also urged all agencies of government responsible for government programmes, policies and activities to take advantage of NOA’s elaborate structure to communicate their programmes to Nigerians down to the grassroots level.

In her presentation, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Safety Investments, Hajiya Mariam Uwais stressed that the social safety nets are government’s efforts predicated on the need for a more sustained and inclusive economic growth, reduced poverty rates and the need to close the wide inequality gap between the rich and the poor in Nigeria.

She said the Special Intervention Project of government is designed for delivery under five clearly defined programs which include Job Provision and Training for the Unemployed; Home Grown School Feeding for Primary School Children; Direct Cash Transfers of N5,000 monthly to targeted poor & vulnerable households; Enterprise and Empowerment Programme for market women, artisans, women cooperatives, youth and farmers as well as; STEM Bursary Program for tertiary students studying courses in Science, Technology Education, Engineering and Mathematics.

Hajiya Uwais was confident that the social investment programmes of government will boost productivity, especially amongst the marginalized and the vulnerable; stimulate economic activities in unreached areas; create sustainable jobs; improve livelihoods and; enhance financial inclusion of all Nigerians. In addition, she praised the programmes will have a multiplier effect by attracting investments that are tied to solving supply side constraints; reduce inequality; engender stability and security in communities and; ultimately reduce poverty.

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