ANEEJ urges Buhari to resolve issues on NSIP as ActionAid lauds programme
The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to personally resolve the differences between the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari and Special Adviser to the President on Nigerian Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Maryam Uwais, over the recent outburst by his wife that so many Nigerians did not benefit from the programme.
It said the renewed interest of the First Lady in the programme was a welcome development that requires stakeholders’ summit to design ways to strengthen the programme.
The civil society organisation, which is currently monitoring the disbursement of the $322 million Abacha loot to the poor, said: “President Muhammadu Buhari must personally intervene in the face-off between the First Lady and Uwais in the interest of poor Nigerians who are targeted with the scheme.”
Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, said findings confirmed that poor Nigerians targeted with the returned loot received N10,000 for the months of August and September.
He said that Nigeria was recently celebrated at the Open Government Global Summit held in Canada for its success in the use of returned loot to finance SIP under the cash transfer scheme, saying that the country is now being invited all over the world to share its experiences and learnings to help many other countries around the world that are facing similar widespread corruption and looting of public resources.
Meanwhile, the ActionAid Nigeria, which also participated in monitoring the programme, affirmed that the scheme had contributed in addressing the problems of out-of-school children and youths’ unemployment in Nigeria and had also impacted greatly on the lives of Nigerians.
It said there is need for system strengthening and public enlightenment for the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and other social investment programmes of the Buhari administration to gain more ground.
A statement by the Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs. Ene Obi, and made available to journalists in Lokoja yesterday, said that the organisation had been following the comments and thoughts of concerned Nigerians on the implementation of the NSIP in Nigeria.
It commended the technical members of staff of the NSIP led by Uwais for the job done so far, saying that there is still room for improvement.