Over 7million Nigerians benefit from Social Investment Programme

Cyril Okonkwo,Abuja

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Mrs Maryam Uwais,Special Adviser to the president on Social protection

Over seven million Nigerians are currently benefitting from the Social Investment Programme of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in Nigeria.

Special adviser to the President on the Social Investment Programme, Mariam Uwais, stated this while briefing State House Correspondents on Thursday’s meeting of the National Economic Council presided over by Vice President Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

According to her, the total direct beneficiaries from all the SIP Programmes are 7,812,201, while secondary beneficiaries are 1,500,000, mainly farmers and cooks.

Mrs. Uwais said the “total actual spending in 2016 and 2017 15.58% of the budget.”

General challenges

Mrs. Uwais said that she also briefed the NEC on the general challenges facing the smooth delivery of the N-SIP.

She listed the challenges to include corrupt practices in the states, exploitation of the vulnerable and inadequate monitoring and communication.

Mrs. Uwais said the N-SIPs was collaborating with various organisations within and outside the Government to overcome the challenges in the areas of monitoring and security, sensitization and communication.

Support from State Governments

The Special Adviser to the president said the N-SIPs would require support from the state government in fraud detection and prevention by local officials in Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP.

The programme would also seek the support of for states in GEEP loan programme mobilization and facilitate the generation of BVN and the opening of accounts and in loan recovery from beneficiaries.

Other areas where Mrs. Uwais said support was needed were in the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, National Social Safety Net, Conditional Cash Transfer and Youth Employment and Empowerment Programme.

Forensic audit

Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who was also at the briefing said the NEC received the final report on the Forensic Audit of Revenue Accrued from Revenue Generating Agencies (RGAs) into Federation Account (FA), Excess Crude Account (ECA) and Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

      

She said the report was prepared by KPMG, which audited 18 Agencies including NNPC, FIRS, Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), NIMASA, NPA, NCC, CBN, DPR, NPDC and many others.

She said the report covered period January 2010 – June, 2015

 

According to her, “the report observed several cases of under-remittance and a few over remittance in some cases both by identified agencies.” 

 

She said the auditing firm recommended that NEC should decide on repayment plans for all concerned as well as stepping up oversight function on the relevant agencies to ensure remittance as and at when due.

 

The firm also recommended the proper and regular auditing of the accounts of the RGAs and those of the federal government and that there was also the need for annual review of the agencies.

 

Adebule said the council received the report and resolved that the Ad-hoc NEC Committee on the matter be expanded to include a lawyer and an accountant. 

Updates on Special Funds

Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, also gave an update on Nigeria’s Special Funds as presented by the Accountant-General of the Federation to NEC.

According to him, the balance in ECA as at 14th February, 2018 stood at $2,317,252,449.57, while the balance in the Stabilization Fund Account as at 14th February, 2018 was N11,290,664,060.06.

The balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund as at 14th February, 2018 was at N123,624,644,411.24.

Akande also reported that the the Accountant General reported to the Council 23 States have access to the facility and that N16.1 billion has been disbursed as at January 2018.

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