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The Presidency has said that President Muhammadu Buhari at no time promised to pay N5,000 stipend to unemployed graduates.

Speaking to State House correspondents today, Monday, February 29, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the current budget before the National Assembly only makes provision for N5,000 monthly for extremely poor people.

Buhari, in a recent statement credited to him, had ruled out the possibility of his government paying unemployed youths N5,000 monthly.

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“The budget for 2016 which has been submitted to the National Assembly has made an allocation of half a trillion naira, the first time in the history of this country’s budget where you have that huge chunk of money allocated for social investment," Akande said.

“In that N500bn which is half a trillion naira, close to about 20 per cent of the entire budget, there are six social safety net programmes.

“One of them is the Conditional Cash Transfer where government is going to pay N5,000 monthly to the vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians. That promise stands.

“The President never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5,000; the President never made that promise and the government never made that claim that it will pay N5,000 to unemployed graduates.

“The programme for unemployed graduates is the direct creation of half a million teaching jobs so that they will be trained; 500,000 unemployed graduates will be trained to teach and they will be deployed to teach, while they are looking for their career paths or jobs. That still stands!

“In addition to that, there is also a scheme to train 370, 000 non-graduate youths for skill acquisition and vocational training. During the time of that training, they will also be paid," he said.

Ahead of the 2015 Presidential election, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had promised to the electorate that if Buhari emerged president, unemployed youth would get N5,000 monthly stipend.

However, the statement did not come directly from the President.

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