Social Investment Programmes record successes

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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The Social Investment Programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari-administration has recorded remarkable successes in its four components.

Special Assistant to the President on Social Investment, Mrs Mariam Uwais reviewed the implementation of the programmes in a statement made available to Voice of Nigeria on Tuesday.

She said 7.9 million direct beneficiaries of the programmes have been recorded in the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

More children in schools
Uwais said the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme has not only ensured that 7,487,441 children in primary 1-3 are currently being fed daily in 22 States, it has also increased the enrolment of children in schools.

The States where the programme is running are: Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia and Benue.

Others are Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa, Niger, Kano, Katsina and Gombe, while two more States, Ondo and Borno, are to begin this month.

Uwais said 75,330 cooks have been hired and empowered in the 53,541 schools being serviced.

 “The central plan of this laudable programme is designed to increase enrolment in basic education and affect the lives of our dear children. “The opportunity this gathering affords is a show of commitment by stakeholders to promote home-grown school feeding programmes as a key strategy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” she emphasised.

According to Uwais, Nigeria’s home grown school feeding programme was in response to its adoption at the 26th African Union Summit in January 2016 “as a continental strategy to enhance retention and performance of children in schools and to boost income generation and entrepreneurship in local communities.”

She said the other components of the SIP, including the National Cash Transfer Programme, NCTP, the N-Power and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP have also recorded profound successes.

“One of the most important aspects of the Social Investment Programmes is the millions of Nigerians who have and would benefit directly and indirectly from each of the various schemes,” Uwais said.

The presidential aide said that 200,000 graduate beneficiaries have been enrolled into the N-power component of the SIP and were working in various institutions around Nigeria.

“The non-graduate categories have commenced training in 34 States around the country, while we continue to audit the skill centres we can utilize in the remaining States,” she said.

She said her office would continue to audit the skill centres that could be utilized in the remaining States.

Enterprise empowerment
On the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, Uwais said 259,541 beneficiaries of 4,784 cooperatives have been paid in the 36 States and FCT.

She said that the NCTP has commenced developing a Social Register in all the States that have met the criteria provided in the MoU signed with her Office.

The Special Assistant to the President said so far, “they have 455,857 poor and vulnerable households uploaded onto the National Social Register, from which 297,973 households” have been mined and are being paid stipends in 20 States.

Sammie Idika