FG’s social investment programme not working, most of N1trn ‘stolen’, Bauchi gov alleges
The Federal Government funded Social Investment Programme which has the sum of N1 trillion as the budget for implementation has been described as a fuss and ineffective as the fund is being allegedly diverted into private pockets of the privileged few who are saddled with the responsibility of implementation.
The allegations were made by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, while flagging off the distribution of empowerment items to selected beneficiaries in Dambam LGA of the state under the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme (KEEP).
He said that the Social Investment program starred with the distribution of the paltry sum of money to selected beneficiaries but suddenly stopped while the implementors are siphoning and misappropriating the fund.
Bala Mohammed declared that “Their (APC) economic empowerment is so huge but it is not reaching anywhere and I want it to be conveyed to the Presidency. The Social Investment Programme is not working. We have our colleagues at the national level, we have our appointees who are arresting everything into their pockets, they don’t have anything like this (Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme) to show, whereas, a trillion Naira is budgeted for that.
“And even where they are distributing, I want to be contradicted, you will normally share with those responsible for giving out these empowerments. If it is N50,000, they put N25,000 and pocket the remaining,” he further alleged.
The Governor said: “We are calling for n our President to shine his eyes, to look very well, he has good intentions, but his intentions have consistently been thwarted by those around him. He must not take this because change is the only thing that is dynamic.”
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According to the Governor, “When you are supposed to impact on the people, through social investment, it is not reaching the people, when there is supposed to be intervention even at the sub-national and national levels through the Economic Sustainability Development Plan under a very big office of the President.”
He declared that “nothing is reaching us in the state, nothing. Even the COVID-19 assistance, we are not getting anything, but here we are physically and that was why we brought our leaders for accountability to come and see.”
Bala Mohammed, however, said that the KEEP scheme introduced by his administration 2 years ago has so far been launched in eight LGAs with Dambam being the ninth adding that in each of the LGA, not less than N75m worth of items and cash are being distributed to the beneficiaries.
The Governor said that the target is to empower people particularly those in the rural areas in order to make them self sufficient and support their families through a viable source of daily income.
He said: “We have launched such programme in other local government areas and here is the ninth we are doing. And in all the places that we have visited, we have distributed empowerment items and cash worth N70 million excluding logistics and other costs that is security and others, which are between N10 and N11 million.”
The Governor added: “In Dambam, for emphasis, we are giving goats, to those who chose to have them about 87 of them, sewing machines 59, those that are into poultry 18, grinding machines 23, barbing 2, zobo, awara, akara and the rest which were given N50,000 cash each.
“We are also empowering ward councillors, ward women leaders, ward youth leaders, ward coordinators, ward Chairmen, Kaura youth leaders, local government women and men coordinators. The total amount being spent is N75 million,” he explained.
According to Bala Mohammed, “You can see the empathy at the local levels, to the ward levels. When people say I am good and I am doing well, it is not Bala Mohammed or Kauran Bauchi or the governor that is doing well, it is the people at the local levels.”
He added: “We interact with major of our people especially those who voted for us and those we want to vote for us in 2023 and that is why we are empowering them, remembering them, ensuring that we deepen the universally known and acclaimed the ‘PDP Reward System’ that has been abandoned by this administration.”
The Governor stressed that “In the same way, I am grateful to the members of the State Assembly, our Commissioners, our appointees, they are precisely doing what I am doing today in their own way and means, we are very grateful. That is what is absent in the APC administration. They may have so many appointees, but you can hardly see them, they are hidden, they are just like a mirage.
“Today, we are here in continuation of desire in the name of Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme which was started inside Bauchi where he distributed 1,000 Keke NAPEP and 154 vehicles and we are going round to make sure that we build round, that is the tradition of the PDP,” he added.
The Governor said: “The PDP BOT Chairman, we are doing this in your name because PDP has a name and a tradition, it has an established practice. Everything you see in Nigeria in terms of services and infrastructure were those ones that were delivered by the PDP. They may be claiming some of the things we did in terms of road infrastructure, in terms of hospitals and the rest.”
He concluded: “We have done so much and we want the Federal Government to replicate what we are doing, we want our competitors to come and replicate what we are doing if they can. What we are doing is to show concern and to show gratitude to God and to the people who voted for us and we are very proud of our party, we are very proud of our team.”