Osinbajo not involved in NSIPs financial transactions – NSIO
Nigeria’s National Social Investment Office (NSIO) Wednesday said vice president Yemi Osinbajo has not been involved in the financial transactions of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs) since 2016.
“It can be categorically said that His Excellency, the VP Yemi Osinbajo has never been involved in any of such financial transactions,” NSIO spokesman Justice Bibiye said in a statement.
Bibiye said the funds allocated and released for the N-SIPs of the Muhammadu Buhari administration have been domiciled in the budget and national planning ministry from inception, and not in the Office of the Vice President or anywhere in the Presidency.
Osinbajo had been the arrowhead for the implementation of NSIPs- Trader Moni, Market Moni, Farmer Moni, Anchors Borrowers Scheme, N-Power and the Home Grown School Feeding programme across the country.
While Buhari said the NSIPs were his government’s policy to lift Nigerians out of poverty, the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) accused Osinbajo of using government schemes to buy votes during his nationwide tour before the 2019 elections.
The allegation was part of the petition of PDP and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar when they challenged Buhari’s victory at the polls.
After the elections, there had also been media reports attributed to ‘Presidency sources’ alleging that NSIPs funds suggested being in Osinbajo’s care were syphoned.
But the NSIO spokesman said President Buhari only asked Osinbajo to oversee the schemes and “all matters regarding financing, budgeting, procurement and disbursement should be done by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.”
He noted that the Steering Committee headed by Osinbajo which comprises Finance, Education, Health, Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs, Labour and Productivity, Information ministers implement agenda of the NSIPs with the budget and national planning ministry serving as the secretariat.
Bibire explained that all payments on the programmes are transferred directly to beneficiaries from the Federal Government coffers with exception to the cash transfer programme where beneficiaries reside in areas that lack banking infrastructure and unable to travel long distances to receive the monthly N5,000 disbursements.
He said the payment for beneficiaries of Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which provides collateral and interest-free financial support to businesses have been transparent.
The NSIO spokesman said the loans are paid to the beneficiaries who must belong to a registered cooperative or association and have opened bank accounts linked to a BVN.
Bibiye said the “N-SIPs have impacted over 12 million direct beneficiaries and over 30 million indirect beneficiaries, comprising employees of beneficiaries, mobile money agents, cooks, farmers and extended family members.”