Maryam Uwais, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programmes has said the Buhari government doesn’t “brag” about its achievements.
She said this in Lagos on Saturday while assuring that the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) will be scaled up to reach more Nigerians.
NAN reports that she spoke at a conference organised by the Reformers Arise – a subsidiary of Incubator Africa – a development agency.
It would be recalled that the president’s wife, Aisha Buhari, recently lamented over the N500bn social investment scheme embarked upon by the federal government.
Aisha stated that the impact of the social investment programme was not being felt in her home state Adamawa, Kano and others despite the huge funds the Federal Government budgeted for it.
Aisha had said: “I don’t want to raise the alarm that my state does not benefit from it, where the SGF (Secretary to the Government of the Federation) came from, I kept quiet because I don’t want people to say that I talk too much.
“Recently, I saw a 74-year-old man selling petty things in Kano, I asked him how much is his capital, he told me between N3,000 and N4,000. Don’t forget that we have campaigned to give the poorest of the poor N5,000 every month.
“So, I don’t know where is the social investment… Maybe, it worked out in some states. In my own state, only a local government benefited out of the 22.
“I didn’t ask what happened and I don’t want to know, but it failed woefully in Kano, it’s not a good sign and it’s not a good thing.”
But speaking, Uwais said: “We have gone far in 21 states but we hope to build on it, and we urge our media to go out and see how far we have gone.
“If our media go to these rural areas many will understand how far we have gone in 21 states.
“This intervention is to alleviate poverty; we are seeing results; for instance, the Tradermoni scheme has been on since 2016, but it got more attention during the elections.
“I was at the airport a while ago, and someone ran to me. I was afraid but he told me he benefitted from the scheme. He returned N10 000 and got access to 15,000.
“We have a whatsapp platform with communities and we pay close attention to their needs; we try to do our possible best.
”That, for me, is development. It is transforming lives, but we can’t brag about this, as a responsible government that we are; we are committed.”
She added that the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, which provides one-meal per day in primary schools, has provided job opportunities for communities around schools.
“The Federal Government provides six million eggs and 594 cows weekly under its Home Grown School Feeding Programme to school children.
“The programme has made poultry farmers smile to banks. What about the caterers? We know that when people are gainfully employed, they shun violence,” the special adviser said.
She urged other stakeholders including the media to partner with the Federal Government to improve the programmes.
“It is more rewarding when our media showcase this. The fact that it is not yet in the 36 states doesn’t mean it is not happening.
“Even those who have benefited from this, know this; communities have benefited, but we don’t have to turn this into a propaganda.”