Reps rap Buhari’s welfare schemes, seeks probe of N42billion expenditure

By Alex Okoro

OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Poverty Alleviation and Labour, Employment and Productivity to probe the modalities of implementation of the Social Investment Programmes (SIP) of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The House mandated the committees to report back within two weeks.

The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Mr. Bode Ayorinde (APC, Ondo) during plenary on Wednesday.

In his lead debate, Ayorinde who commended the federal government for the SIP initiative decried the non inclusion of schools in the constituency he represents.

According to him, the Social Intervention Programmes are laudable projects that have impacted positively on millions in some States in Nigeria.

“At the end of April 2017, the Federal Government claimed to have spent N41.7billion across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory in implementing  different aspects of the four SIPs and that not less than 25 million meals have been served under the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme.

“The School Feeding Programme has only covered seven states of the federation and there are no credible statistics as to how far the other elements have gone among the 36 States of the Federation”, he said.

Lawmakers who contributed to the debate also frowned at the programme for excluding other states in the country.

Mr. Sergius Ogun (PDP, Edo) said “this programme is a fraud. Rather than paying the unemployed such amount of money monthly, it should have been used to fix infrastructures that will be beneficial to all”.

The House minority leader, Mr. Leo Ogor questioned the criteria for selecting the seven states that are the current beneficiaries of the programme.

On his part, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas argued that the programme would have captured other states rather than concentrating on seven states alone.

The Social Investment Programmes which kicked off in 2015 is made up of four elements. They include: the Home Grown Schools Feeding Programme targeting 5.5 million primary school pupils in all the States of the Federation;

The Job Creation Programme aimed at employing 500,000 graduates to be deployed in their communities to work as teachers, health support officers and agricultural officers and participants are to be paid N30,000 each;

The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of N5,000 monthly to extremely poor and vulnerable persons in the society, targeted at one million recipient for two years and the Enterprises Promotion Programme which is a loan facility of between N10,000 to N100,000 to 1.66 million people.

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