The National Social Investments Programmes (NSIP) has itemised its achievements in two northern states where the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, recently said it has had no impact.
Newsmen had reported how Mrs Buhari criticised the social investment programmes (SIP) administration, coordinated by Maryam Uwais, a Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari.
Mrs Buhari said the initiative failed to reach its intended beneficiaries in at least Adamawa and Kano.
Mrs Buhari who spoke at a forum on Saturday, at the Presidential Villa, said she was told that 30,000 women from Adamawa would benefit from the programme but nothing of such happened.
“The SSA to the president on social investment is a lady from Kano and I’m sure that my husband decided to put somebody from Kano because of the population and political impact it made. I have never asked how the money is used or being given out,” she had said.
“I met one of the president’s aides on SIP once and he promised me that for my state (Adamawa), N10,000 each would be given to 30,000 women but up till now, I haven’t heard from him.
“Recently, I saw a 74-year-old man selling petty things in Kano. I asked him how much is his capital. He told me between N3,000 and N4,000. Do not forget that we have campaigned to give the poorest of the poor N5,000 every month.
“So I don’t know where the social investment..maybe it worked out in some states. In my own state, only a local government benefited out of the 22.
“I did not ask what happened and I do not want to know. But for it to fail woefully in Kano, it is not a good sign and it is not a good thing,” Mrs Buhari said.
N-SIPS was set up by the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration to improve the living conditions of millions of poor Nigerians across the country.
The programmes include N-Power, National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), National Cash Transfer Project (NCTP), and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
The National Social Investment Office (NSIO), the coordinators of NSIP, responded to Mrs Buhari’s observation in a statement made available to Premium Times on Thursday.
According to the statement, the number of beneficiaries of the N10,000 Trader Moni (interest-free loan) initiative in Adamawa State presently stands at 30,785 traders.
The statement said the monies have been paid in 16 markets where the Trader Moni Market Activation took place, with 55 per cent of the beneficiaries being women.
The NSIO said the state has an estimate of 11,000 N-Power graduate beneficiaries who are receiving the monthly stipend of N 30,000.
It also said 167,853 school children are being fed in 1,054 public primary schools in the state since October 2018.
For the Cash Transfer Project, the NSIP said 16,859 households are benefitting from the transfers in 12 local government areas in the state.
In Kano State, NSIO said over 100,000 traders have benefited from the Trader Moni programme. It said many more traders were waiting to be paid in about 35 markets in the state.
It said the N-Power beneficiaries currently engages 18,594 graduates in the state, while 1,043,014 children are being provided meals in public primary schools across the state.
According to the statement, the Cash Transfers initiative has 51,350 households as beneficiaries, and ”these beneficiaries are spread across a total of 1,651 communities in Kano.”
It said the beneficiaries are verified by the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO), ”after which they uploaded unto the National Social Register (NSR), using laid down guidelines to determine their poverty status.
“It is from the NSR that the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) pays out the N5,000 monthly stipend to beneficiaries,” the office said in the statement.
By Brendan Umoren