Group accuses Aisha of playing politics with Social Investment Programmes
The group says it is unfortunate that the wife of the president finds faults in the social investment programmes of the President Buhari administration.
The SIPs are; the N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfers, National Home-Grown School Feeding and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programmes (GEEP).
While speaking at an interactive forum on Saturday, May 25, 2019, Mrs Buhari said the N500 billion social investment programme in the north has failed to cater for the poor.
She said, “Concerning the N500 billion voted for SIP, that was part of 2015 campaigns where they promised to give out N10,000, feed pupils in primary schools and give N5,000 to the poorest of the poor,”
“The SSA to the president on social investment is a lady from Kano and I’m sure that my husband decided to put somebody from Kano because of the population and political impact it made. I have never asked how the money is used or being given out.
“I met one of the president’s aides on SIP once and he promised me that for my state (Adamawa), N10,000 each would be given to 30,000 women but up till now, I haven’t heard from him”
“I was expecting that N500 billion to be utilized in different methods in the north for the aim to be achieved. I don’t know the method they used but most of the northern states did not get it.”
The wife of the president said the social programmes failed in the north adding that she has not seen the state where the SIP project worked.
“So, I don’t know where the social investment worked. Maybe it worked out in some states. In my own state, only a local government benefited out of the 22 LGAs. I didn’t ask what happened and I don’t want to know but I can say it failed woefully in Kano. We have a lot of women who do business locally due to the cultural thing in the north, they are at home doing their businesses. Some are millionaires, some have thousands of naira, they need the assistance but they did not get it. Most northern women do not belong to any market association
Reacting to Aisha’s criticism of the social investment programmes (SIP), Bernard Okri, president of GEPI, in a statement said the president’s wife acted below expectation.
He added that Aisha could not substantiate her claims because she conducted a poor research.
“It is unfortunate that the wife of the president has decided to needlessly upbraid the social investment programmes of the President Buhari administration.
“She missed the point in her attempt to politicise and ethnicise a noble programme. One would expect Mrs Aisha Buhari to, like her husband, commend the programme. This is the first time in our country’s history that Nigerians would apply for a government programme and be picked strictly on merit, without knowing anybody in government.
“We have conducted independent surveys and have met real beneficiaries in rural areas in the northern and southern parts. All states have been covered. The N-Power programme for instance has beneficiaries in all the 774 local governments of the country. At least 80% of the states have all the programmes fully running in all local government areas.
“It is shocking that the Wife of the President without doing any proper survey makes an attempt to drag the programmes in the mud. For whatever reason this is being done, it is unkind and unfair.”
“She can’t know the impact of the social investment pprogrammes from her interaction with one 74-year-old man. That is a very faulty methodology,”
The SIP is domiciled in the office of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, and it is being coordinated Maryam Uwais.
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