The chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations, Danjuma Goje, on Thursday picked holes in the National Social Investment Programme of the Buhari administration, saying the impact of the programme is not felt at the grassroots.
Mr Goje made this observation when Maryam Uwais, the special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on the National Social Investment Programme, appeared before the Committee on Appropriation to provide clarification on 2018 budget estimate.
He said the programme was gradually going the way of the disbanded Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The former governor said the Senate would not hesitate to drastically reduce the yearly allocation of N500 billion to NSIP if its performance did not improve.
Mr Goje, who stressed the importance of the programme, noted that by the end of three years, the NSIP would have handled N1.5 trillion which, according to him, is unprecedented.
“Many people are complaining that they have not seen the impact of the programme considering the magnitude of the fund involved.
“I am from Gombe State, I represent Gombe Central. I am yet to see one single boy who came to tell me that he has benefited from your N500 billion.
“Many other Nigerians are saying the same thing. N500 billion for 36 states is about N13 billion. If you spend N13 billion in one year in Gombe State, there is no way I would not have known, other people will also know.
“If you spend N500 billion in one year in Nigeria, Nigerians will know. No single All Progressives Congress person from Gombe State has benefited from your School Feeding Programme.
“No single person from Gombe State has benefited from your N-Power. We don’t know about your N-Power. As far as many of us are concerned, we are completely dissatisfied with what you are doing,” he said.
Mr Goje also said that there was no indication to show that N100 billion is deducted from source for Social Housing Scheme by the Ministry of Finance.
The Social Investment Programme already has 200,000 Nigerian graduates from all over the country under its N-Power Programme, with each person receiving a stipend of N30,000 a month. An additional 300,000 graduates have been shortlisted for the next phase of the programme, according to the Media office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Out of the enumerated 439,859 poor and vulnerable households in 23 states under the National Social Safety Net Programme, 297,973 are already benefiting from the cash transfer programme.
In addition, 6,044,625 pupils in 33,981 primary schools in 20 states are being fed under the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme by 61,352 cooks employed by the scheme.
Under the Social Investment Programme, 259,451 loans were issued through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme across 36 states and FCT, out of the 478,388 eligible beneficiaries whose applications were processed.