FG spends N470.825bn on social schemes in three years ― Uwais

The Federal Government spent a total of N470,825,522,694.62 on its various social investment (SIP) schemes between 2016 and Thursday according to Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais.

The SIPs include N-Power, School Feeding Programme, Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme and N-Power Innovation Hubs.

In each of 2016, 2016 and 2017, N500 billion was budgeted for the various programmes in the national budgets.

Uwais who briefed the press on the progress of the programmes, however, said: “It is pertinent to note that out of an annual approved budget of N500 billion, between 2016 and 2018, the total sum of N470,825,522,694.62 has so far been released to the NSIO and expended on the above-mentioned programmes as follows.”

In 2018, N79,985,158,705.32 was released, in 2017, N140,000,000,000.00 was released while N250,840,363,989.30 was has so far been released from the 2018 budget.

According to her, “we currently have about 526,000 N-Power youth (both graduate and non-graduate) whose identities have been thoroughly verified, engaged by the programme spread across 774 LGAs teaching in public schools, acting as health workers in our primary health centres and as Agric extension advisors to smallholder farmers in our communities.

“N-Power is the employability and enhancement programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria aimed at imbibing the learn-work-entrepreneurship culture in youth between 18 and 35 for graduates and non-graduates.

“N-Power graduate volunteers are given devices preloaded with learning modules along with a monthly stipend of N30,000 for a period of two years.

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She explained that the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) aims to provide one nutritious, balanced meal for 200 school days in a year, to pupils in classes 1 to 3 in public primary schools to boost enrolment, increase the cognitive function in children and battle malnutrition.

“In the past four years, the programme has helped increase enrolment in primary schools by over 20%, empowered cooks, smallholder farmers and communities as a whole.

Our cooks are selected through an open and inclusive recruitment committee exercise set up by the State, with a focus on applicants who are known and trusted within the vicinity of the schools.”

“Today, we have 103,992 cooks on our payroll, feeding 9,714,342 pupils in 53,715 government primary schools around 31 states, while all the remaining States are at various stages of meeting the criteria we have laid, for feeding to commence.

“For instance, in each week of the programme, the NHGSFP requires 94 metric tons of fish, 7,260,862 eggs and 767 cattle slaughtered for the pupils being fed. Fruits, vegetables and grains are part of the carefully thought-out balanced diet for all of the pupils.”

Uwais said beneficiaries the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, delivers timely and accessible cash transfers to beneficiary households, as well as build their capacities for sustainable livelihoods, through a meticulous selection process.

“Prior to the advent of this Administration, a Social Register had begun being developed under the World Bank-assisted Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) programme in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

“That Register, as at 2015, hosted about 67,000 households across 8 States in the country. This Register was also managed using basic excel sheets.

“As at today, the NSR is currently in different stages of development across 34 States and the FCT with about 872,700 households representing 3,492,001 individuals captured.”

Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) on the other hand is tasked with providing collateral and interest-free financial support to businesses at the bottom of the financial pyramid. Funds for the programme are managed by the Bank of Industry (BOI).

The Presidential adviser who was accompanied by coordinators of each of the programmes disclosed that were currently thee GEEP products; FarmerMoni, MarketMoni and TraderMoni.

“For the first two, funds between 10,000 to N350,000 are paid into the accounts of the successful applicants who belong to a registered cooperative or association (even if registered at LGA level) and have a bank account linked to a BVN.

For TraderMoni, the registered traders are given a loan if N10,000 to be repaid within six months.

“Since inception, BOI has made 1,681,491 loans available to successful applicants in all the States and the FCT. Repayments are made through selected agents, which in itself has provided payment opportunities, across the country.”

The N-Power- Innovation Hubs Programme was designed for encouraging Nigerians to provide solutions to local problems based on the prevalent economic activities in the region.

Currently, seven technology hubs have been established in 6 geopolitical zones including Lagos state. However, there are plans to establish one more hub in the FCT.

“As at the end of March 2019, the National Social Investment Programmes have cumulatively made a direct impact on 12,069,153 beneficiaries, and over 30m secondary beneficiaries, comprising the cooks, farmers, families, employees and members of the community.”

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