Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Mrs Maryam Uwais, has responded to the allegations by the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, that the implementation Social Investment Programmes (SIP) failed in the North.
Uwais who appeared on Channels Television News at 10 at the weekend, said the programme had directly impacted on at least 290,000 beneficiaries in the 12 local governments of the state out of the 4.2 million people it targeted.
The president’s aide said if Mrs Buhari had bothered to go through the SIP data, she would have noticed that the programme was involved in 1,054 primary schools for the school feeding programme, adding that 11,000 graduates had been recruited and were working in every local government in her home state, Adamawa. She also said that a total of 440 non-graduates had been engaged by the programme.
According to her: “I believe that if she were to listen to the information that is out there if she were to check on our data, she would be able to track all the beneficiaries. I’m saying that we have over 11,000 graduates that had been recruited and are working in every local government in her home state. We have 440non-graduates; we started the School Feeding Programme in October 2018; we are in 1,054 in primary schools. We have only scratched the surface in the sense that we don’t have sufficient funding to address that. We have by our own data at least 4.2 million indigenes of Adamawa State and if we have done about 300,000 directly, I believe we could do much more if we had sufficient funding.
“So I’m saying that yes she may not have met them but the truth is we are there; we are in 12 local governments for the cash transfers and we are in 12 local governments also for the loans; we have at least 290,000 beneficiaries directly that we are paying in Adamawa State.”
Mrs. Buhari had during an interactive programme for women at the State House, Abuja, last week, said despite the fact that she was assured that 30,000 women would benefit from the programme from Adamawa State, she was yet to see anything as the administration wound down.
According to the wife of the president: “N500 billion voted for SIP was part of the 2015 campaigns during which we promised to give out N10,000, feed pupils in primary schools and give N5,000 to the poorest of the poorer.
“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 (there) because of the population and political impact it made. I have never asked how the money is being used or is being given out. I met Barrister (one of the President aides on SIP) once and he promised me that my state (Adamawa) should have 30,000 women who would be given N10,000. Up till now, I haven’t heard from him.
“I don’t want to raise the alarm that my state does not benefit from it, whereas the SGF comes from there; I kept quiet because I don’t want people to say that I talk too much.
“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 didn’t ask what happened and I don’t want to know; but failed woefully in Kano; it’s not a good sign and it’s not a good thing.
“I was expecting that N500 billion will be utilised in different methods in the North for the aim to be achieved. I don’t know the method they used but most of the northern states did not get it. My state did not get it,” she said.