The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais, on Saturday said that the Federal Government did not budget N30 billion for Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) in 2020.
The Communication Manager, National Social Investment Office, Justice Bibiye, quoted Mrs. Uwais as saying that nothing has changed in the budgeting cycle as regards the Social Investment Programmes.
According to her, the SIP budget has always been pegged at N400 billion while another N100 billion has been domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance as counterpart of the Social Housing Fund.
Mrs. Uwais, expressed the hope that shortfalls in budgetary releases in the last three years would be a thing of the past, as urgent progress needs to be made in efforts to uplift the living standards of poor citizens.
“In 2016, we got 16% of our budget, 36% in 2017 and 53% in 2018”, she said.
The Presidential aide, however, noted that despite the shortfalls in releases, the National Social Investment Programme has been very successful with over thirteen million people across the country directly impacted and over 44 million as secondary beneficiaries comprising families, agents, farmer and others in the value chain.
She also clarified that a total of 620,947 poor and vulnerable Nigerians are currently benefiting from the National Cash Transfer program, a key component of the National Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government.
The clarification became necessary following media reports which quoted her as saying that six million, six hundred and twenty thousand Nigerians are being paid the monthly N5000 stipend earmarked for the cash transfer beneficiaries.
Mrs Uwais said although one million, four hundred and ninety-one thousand, two hundred and ninety six (1,491,296) households comprising six million, fifty six thousand (6,056,872) individuals have been captured on the National Social Register (NSR), six hundred and twenty thousand, nine hundred and forty seven (620, 947) of them are currently receiving monthly payments and being supported by trained community facilitators
The NSIO, which Uwais heads, coordinates the implementation of the four components of the National Social Investment Programme namely; The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme NHGSFP, N-Power, National Cash Transfer Programme NCTP and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme GEEP.