Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says though the current administration considers the return of Chibok schoolgirls a priority, it cannot be specific on when that will happen.
Speaking at a roundtable programme in Abuja on Wednesday, Osinbajo appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with the federal government.
Osinbajo said President Muhammadu Buhari has not failed to challenge the military on doing everything possible to ensure that the girls are reunited with their families.
“At every security council meeting that I have attended, the president has always been concerned about Chibok girls. He thinks of how this can be done quickly,” he said.
“But it’s a very delicate issue and we cannot say we can deal with it next week. Every rescue attempt must take the safety of the girls into consideration.
“From the security reported we get, we will be able to bring back the girls but we must exercise some caution and patience and not sound as if it can be done but it’s not being done.”
Osinbajo said the government was committed to catering to the needs of the poor, explaining that assistance would be rendered to the needy as soon as the 2016 budget is passed.
He said N500 billion had been budgeted for social investments programme, but said compiling the list of the beneficiaries has not been easy.
“The soft under belly of our system is that we expose the most vulnerable to the harshest conditions. That’s why the government has come up with intervention programmes including conditional cash transfer,” he said.
“That intervention must come from government funding of programmes that enable people to do something for themselves and lift them from poverty.”
Maryam Uwais, special adviser to the president on social intervention, listed the five prongs of the N500bn social investment programme to be: job creation, school feeding, conditional cash transfers, micro-credit and bursary.
She added that a school scheme to be implemented under the programme will pay participants between N23,000 and N25,000 monthly.
Amina Mohammed, minister for the environment, said the federal government will not give up in its quest to rescue the missing school girls.
Aisha Oyebode, chief executive officer of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), who spoke on behalf of the NGOs, urged government to tackle insurgency decisively. TheCable