Uche Usim, Abuja
Counting on the gains of Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, on Sunday, disclosed that Kaduna State has benefited over ₦13.5 billion from the scheme since its inception.
Ahmed who made this known at the weekend at the Federal College of Education, Zaria during the disbursement of empowerment funds to women of Zone 1 of Kaduna State, noted that the Kaduna State Women Empowerment Fund (KADSWEF), project has confirmed the political will of the Kaduna State Government to toe the line of social investment alongside infrastructural investment.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Communications, Mr Paul Ella Abechi, she acknowledged that there were still more grounds to be covered and assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to the programme, relentlessly and continuously.
According to her, “The Federal Government through the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has since inception began implementing a number of programmes targeted at improving the lives of Nigerians especially the poor and vulnerable members of our society. Kaduna State, fortunately is a beneficiary of all the interventions that make up the NSIP, with investment exceeding ₦13.5 billion.
She explained, “There are over 18,000 N-Power volunteers in Kaduna State in addition to 585 Npower build trainees. For these beneficiaries, we have expended over ₦4 billion.
“The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme has so far reached over 1million pupils in about 4,000 schools and has created a sustainable means of livelihood for the over 12,000 women engaged as cooks under the programme. On this programme in Kaduna State alone, we have spent, on your behalf, over ₦8 billion.
“Another component of the NSIP, the Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP) has given about ₦1 billion naira to almost 20,000 beneficiaries. The poorest of the poor have began benefiting from the National Cash Transfer Programme. In Kaduna State, 10,482 persons have benefitted from a total of ₦314 million.
Ahmed who reiterated the need for support from State Governments, commended the efforts of Kaduna State’s government is doing with KADSWEF is a superb support to our efforts. I have also been informed that has announced the expansion of the fund to ₦400 million in 2019, ₦800 million in 2020 and ₦1 billion subsequently.
She added, “This is a lot of investment that, if made, and properly utilised by the women beneficiaries, will ensure that a lot of grounds will be covered in our strides towards empowerment of women downtrodden, and small & medium entrepreneurs.
“To those who are yet to benefit, take solace in the fact that KADSWEF has been announced to be an ongoing and incremental programme. Next year may be your turn.
She, however, urged the beneficiaries, to ensure judicious usage of the sums accessed, to ensure prompt payment, and development of their businesses to the next level.