$22m Abacha loot spent on SIP, says Presidency

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THE Federal Government got N470.8 billion released between 2016 and last year for the implementation of its Social Investment Programmes (SIPs), the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programmes (SIPs), Mrs. Maryam Uwais, said yesterday.

She listed four-broad programmes as the N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT), National Home-Grown School Feeding and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programmes (GEEP)

Mrs. Uwais briefed State House reporters in after giving an account of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The special adviser, who said that from 2016 till date, the Federal Government budgets annually N500 billion for social investments, explained only N79.98 billion was released in 2016.

She said the N140 billion was released in 2017 and N250.4 billion last year.

She also revealed that out of the N322 million dollars recovered Abacha loot meant for the SIPs, only N22 million dollars had been utilised by her office.

Mrs. Uwais said that at the end of March, the NSIPs had made direct impacts on 12,069,153 beneficiaries and over 30 million secondary beneficiaries, comprising cooks, farmers, families, employees and members of the community.

She said: “Under N-Power, we have 526,000 youth spread across 774 LGAs teaching in public schools, acting as health workers in primary health centres and as agric extension advisors to small holder farmers in our communities.

“Nigeria is fast on its way to becoming the leader in Africa in the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, by feeding over 9.7 Million pupils and still counting.

“Today, we have 103,992 cooks on our payroll, feeding 9,714,342 pupils in 53,715 government primary schools around 31 States. These children are able to eat a balanced diet, towards improving their learning outcomes.

“Also, under the GEEP, we have the FarmerMoni, MarketMoni and TraderMoni.

“For the first two, funds between N10, 000 and N350,000 are paid into the accounts of the successful applicants who belong to a registered cooperative and have a bank account.

“For TraderMoni, petty traders are given a loan of N10, 000 each and upon repayment within six months, the beneficiary becomes eligible for a higher amount, at which point they must open bank accounts.”

The Head of the CCT programme, Henry Ayede, said that using the National Social Register data on poor and vulnerable households in the country, the government currently pays N5, 000 monthly to 872,700 households.

He said that the beneficiaries were identified by the communities to ensure the delivery of the funds to the right beneficiaries.

The Head of the School Feeding Programme, Mrs Bimbo Adesanmi, said that the government was spending about N70 to feed a child under the programme.

She said that the government was able to spend less on nutritious meals by sourcing for all ingredients directly from the farmers without using middlemen.

She also revealed that the government deworms the children benefiting from the programme, every six months to reduce frequency of infections.

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