Abuja - The Federal Government has approved N10 billion for the Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme, aimed at developing education, healthcare and transfer of agricultural enterprise.
The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, announced the approval in Abuja on Monday at the opening session of the National Consultation on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, organised by Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Office.
She said that half of the money came from the 24 participating states of the federation.
The minister said the scheme was a multi-faceted programme implemented in the run-up to the 2015 deadline.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said that there was a need to target investment skills development of the youth to enhance productivity in the labour market.
According to her, targeting investment in skills development of youth population will enhance their productivity in the labour market.
“The only way of capturing youth education and skills training within a Post-2015 Agenda will be to take youth unemployment target.
“The unemployment target is informed by indicators such as participation rates in youth vocational training and tertiary education enrolment,’’ she said.
She said that one billion people across the world would continue to live in extreme poverty and that many still did not have access to basic healthcare.
“No access to clean water, education, essential infrastructure, or to employment opportunities necessary to feed themselves and their families, more need to be done, and more shall be done,’’ she said.
She also stressed the need to focus on increasing investment in infrastructure in energy and transportation.
She suggested that the ways through which infrastructure could be captured within the new framework would be to include indicators, such as electricity power consumption per capita. She said other indicators included density of road network, percentage of population with access to electricity, improved water resources and roads.
The minister said that it was necessary to know the developmental realities on ground to understand the requirements of post-2015. She also stressed the need for employment opportunities to the youth and expansion of enterprise to be supported by better infrastructure.
Ms. Okonjo-Iweala, however, urged all stakeholders to be committed by putting in all their capabilities for better developmental process.
“If we can work together, there is no doubt that we shall be at the regional forefront of this progress, your contributions will be heard; they will be acted upon,’’ she said.
In a speech, Precious Gbeneol, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, said the forum was to ensure that the planning process for a post-2015 Development Agenda had participatory foundation.
Ms. Gbeneol said the contributions of Nigerians would be taken into consideration in the formulation of post-2015 development agenda.
According to her, MDGs framework has been lauded for focusing development attention on key aspects, such as poverty, health and education indicators, but criticised for not including their formulation.
She said that efforts were being focused on the criticism in ensuring that it would not be the case during the post-2015 consideration in the formulation of post 2015 development agenda.
“My office, in collaboration with the UN Country Team and the National Working Group on Post-2015 Planning, embarked on an exercise to involve sub- national structures in this important process.
“We are now gathered in a historic event at this Sub-national and Thematic Consultation on the post 2015 agenda to determine the future we want,’’ she said.
Ms. Gbeneol said that her office had adopted a number of accelerating solutions for the achievements of MDGs in the country.