The Vice-President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that some parts of the manifesto of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was drafted at the residence of Professor Pat Utomi in 2014.
According to Laolu Akande, senior special assistant to the vice-president on media and publicity, Osinbajo said this at the 5th edition of the Airtel Touching Lives in Lagos.
The vice-president said the APC included a social safety initiative to specifically address poverty, among other things in its manifesto.
“Listening to each story of a life touched this evening must remind us of the many others who need our help, our comfort and our kindness. The poor and vulnerable always need a voice,” Osinbajo was quoted to have said.
“In 2014, Mr Wale Edun, Prof. Pat Utomi and I met at Pat’s home to write portions of the manifesto of the APC.
“We all agreed that a fundamental pillar of our party’s plans must be to create a social safety net for the people. We were convinced that the government owed a duty to the poor, the weak, the vulnerable and those who cannot work.
“Social safety nets are not merely acts of sovereign kindness; they are a sovereign obligation – a responsibility.”
Osinbajo said the feeding programme has had an impact on 9.5 million children, adding that 2.2 million petty traders have also benefitted from loans.
Read Also Letter from Africa: The ‘leopard unit’, vigilantes and Nigeria’s kidnap crisis
“Today, the social safety net scheme is the fore of our Social Investment Programmes where we are feeding about 9.5 million children in public schools in 34 states across Nigeria; we are giving monthly cash to about nearly a million households as part of our conditional cash transfer scheme; we have given, as at the last count, 2.2 million loans to petty traders whose inventories are no more than N5, 000,” he said.
“We have also engaged about 500, 000 young men and women, who have been unemployed (over different periods of time) under our N-Power programme. But we are still very far from touching majority of those who need help.
“It is clear that to do so, we need far more resources behind that programme. This is why the work of social conscious companies like Airtel is so vital. Bridging the huge gap between what government can do and what is left to be done.”