Over N80billion has been released for the Federal Government Social Safety Net programme, the Presidency has revealed.
This comes as the present administration has announced that it has put mechanisms in place to ensure that the Social Safety Net programme does not end the way of other intervention programmes by previous governments.
Maryam Uwais, Special Assistant to the President on Social Investments, stated this in Abuja at an interactive session with the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room.
The social intervention programme – one of the campaign promises of President Muhammadu Buhari – comes in form of N-Power programme, Home Grown School Feeding, cash transfer as well as Government Empowerment and Enterprise Programme.
Uwais said the programme has so far been implemented in 11 states of the federation. She added that since Year 2000 till date, there have been 26 social protection programmes implemented by the Nigerian government.
President Muhammadu Buhari appropriated N500billion for the programme in the 2017 budget currently before the National Assembly.
On mechanisms put in place to ensure the success of the programme, she said: “We are using, for instance, the BVN for all our beneficiaries. So, we are making sure that we know the identities of the people. We are not putting staff at state and local government level because we want to preserve as much money as we can on the beneficiaries. We are trying to get civil societies to join us in trying to monitor what is happening so that we can get feedback. The selection process is open; it’s on a portal. You don’t need to know anybody to be a part of this”.
She said some politicians are opposed to it because they thought it was business as usual, like previous programmes, adding that some ministries were unhappy that the funds were domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
Earlier, Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, Clement Nwankwo, cautioned that the programme should not be for political patronage.