The PDP governorship candidate for the 2019 election in Niger State, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko, has promised to introduce a social investment programme that will give unemployed graduates in the state N20,000 monthly stipend if he emerged as governor.
The candidate, who is vying for governorship for the second time, having contested against the incumbent governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello in 2015, also promised that his administration would re-introduce free education from primary to secondary school.
Nasko made the pledges during the flag off of the second-leg of his zonal rally in Suleja, at the weekend.
He said the introduction of the social investment programme would reduce graduate unemployment and consequently bring down crime rate in the state, which he described as “currently alarming.”
Daily Trust reports that Nasko made the pledge at a time many states owed salary arrears to their workers while many had been unable to pay the N18,000 minimum wage. Many governors have expressed reservations over a planned salary increment by the Federal Government due to pressure from organised labour; saying they had no financial capacity to withstand any addition.
Nasko, who decried the alleged failure of the APC-led administration in Niger State to initiate a policy which would take the youth off the streets, also promised to introduce a graduate employment scheme with the intent of making them employers of labour few years after graduation.
He said already, mechanism had been put in place to generate annual data of graduates in the state, adding that registration of prospective beneficiaries would commence immediately he assumed power in 2019.
He also expressed optimism that PDP would reclaim the mandate it lost in 2015 in the state.
He condemned the APC administration in the state for the abolition of free education policy, stressing that “that singular decision has taken the development of education in the state backward by 10 years.”
The immediate past Niger State governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, urged the people to obtain their voters card and vote out what he referred to as “repressive regime” during the 2019 elections, claiming that APC had failed Nigerians at all levels and therefore did not deserve a return.