Over 7.9m people have benefitted from social investment funds, says presidency
Kaduna to hosts VAIDS’ stakeholder symposium
The Federal Government has disclosed that over 7.9million people have benefited from the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) since its inception.The Special Adviser on SIP, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, disclosed this at the weekend.She said this feat was achieved, despite the fraudulent practices like short-changing, racketeering, and harassment of beneficiaries, as well as exploitation of vulnerable people in the scheme.
She said this followed the release of about 15 percent of the N1 trillion that was budgeted for the initiative.She explained that the NSIP was established in 2016 to tackle poverty and hunger across the country. Uwais told State House Correspondents that the scheme, which has branches in the 36 states and Abuja, would soon provide loans to a minimum of 1.66 million small and medium-sized enterprises.
This, she, said would be done with an established cooperative under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP). She added that government would also support 1million people among the poorest households with cash transfers under the National Cash Transfer Programme (NCTP).
Also in focus is a meal a day to a minimum of 5.5 million school children in primary 1-3, under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).On the N-Power programme, she said government has completed the selection of the next batch of 300,000 beneficiaries who would be engaged in the next few months.
According to her, 20,000 more beneficiaries in the non-graduate category would soon commence training in 34 states across the country.She promised to create a level-playing field for all beneficiaries, “with a selection process that is objective, transparent and efficient.”
Meanwhile, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, would on Thursday meet with business leaders under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).The Finance Minister identified regular tax payment as fundamental to the growth and development of the country.“Payment of taxes is a fundamental requirement for our growth story. Nigeria has a very poor scorecard in tax payment.
“When oil came, we abandoned the old systems of tax collection that provided most of our infrastructure since colonial days.“Currently, we have just 14 million tax payers out of 70 million who are economically active. So, many people who should be paying taxes are not doing so,” she said.Among those due to attend the symposium are the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, members of the State Executive Council, members of the state House of Assembly and traditional rulers.
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