ActionAid cautions government against diverting social investment funds into election
The body said that challenges and poor planning had led the government to consider tampering with funds meant for a programme that has touched the lives of several impoverished Nigerians.
In a statement signed by its Country Director, Mrs. Ene Obi, the body bemoaned that despite promising to invest N500 billion yearly in the NSIP during its inception in 2016, government only released N149 billion in 2017 and N80 billion in 2016.
She said that the NSIP had contributed to addressing the problem of out-of-school children in Nigeria and should be sustained, adding that the meals provided in primary schools through the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) have enriched the learning experiences of many children in Nigeria who would have otherwise gone without food the whole day.
Obi, who stated that many children in the rural communities look forward to feeding in the schools and learning – nourishment to their bodies and their minds, also pointed out that several youths who would have been otherwise unemployed have had their livelihood enhanced with work as N-Agro, N-Build, N-Health and N-Tax beneficiaries.
The organisation, while urging the government to release the remaining funds to enable Nigerians fully reap the dividends of the programme, vehemently rejected alleged plan to use the NSIP funds for the 2019 general elections and calls on the President to work with the legislature and seek creative ways of sourcing funds for the elections.
She said: “We appeal that Nigeria must not continue to use that which is meant for the poor but rather find more ways of creating opportunities to lift people out of poverty.”
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