The Federal Government has empowered over 1.6 million Nigerians under its National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP), aimed at reducing poverty and improve livelihoods of vulnerable groups.
N-SIP has four components of N-Power, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais, said this at an event to commemorate two years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s lead administration, on Monday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised to showcase the achievements of the N-SIP.
Uwais, however, said that the government would scale up the programme to cover the 36 states and the FCT by the end of 2017.
The presidential aide said that the objective of this administration was to support and enable Nigerian citizens to live a life of security and dignity.
She said objective of the administration was also to support Nigerians by allowing them to participate in and benefit from the social and economic transformation of our country.
According to her, the government has improved the standard of living of some Nigerians through the N-SIP.
Uwais said N-Power was aimed at empowering Nigerian (graduates and non-graduates) between the ages of 18 and 35 years by paying them N30, 000 monthly over a period of two years.
She said the graduates volunteered to acquire the skills needed for effective delivery and productivity along their chosen career path.
“So far, 87 per cent of the selected N-Power graduate volunteers have started receiving payments.
“They have started receiving payment having been deployed to teach as assistants in primary and secondary schools, serve in primary health centres and as agricultural extension workers.
“Thirteen (13) per cent of them, who are yet to be paid include those disqualified as a result of fake or incomplete records, and those that were absent from the verification and deployment conducted in the States and the Local Government Areas, around the country.
“ We are currently addressing the backlog of outstanding payments,’’ the adviser said.
Under the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), Uwais said it was a social assistance programme designed for the poorest and most vulnerable households in the rural communities.
“So far, 35 States and the FCT have been engaged with the cash transfer programme, and signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
“Almost 70,000 households in nine States, whose caregivers already have validated BVN records, are presently being paid N5,000 per month.
“They have been paid while over 350,000 more households have been identified, and are rapidly growing in 12 more states,’’ she said.
The presidential aide said that School Feeding had commenced under the NHGSFP in seven states, while cook-to-pupil mapping had been carried out in 16 States.
She said 18 States were presently at various stages of preparedness.
“We are currently feeding over 1 million (class 1-3) pupils in over eight thousand schools at N70 per child, with close to 12, 000 cooks recruited across the seven States.
“Twenty six states have engaged the programme by carrying out their capacity building workshops with the aim of establishing their multi-sectoral teams and determining the preferred model/delivery flow for the programme in their States,’’ she said.
In addition, Uwais said GEEP was designed to provide small scale enterprises access and financial services over a period of months.
In summary, she said loans of between N10,000 and N100,000 had so far been disbursed to a total of 59,376 GEEP beneficiaries across 32 States across geopolitical zones.
According to her, 56 per cent of our beneficiaries are female.
“Artisans have borrowed 28 per cent livestock, poultry, chicken and fish farmers have borrowed nine per cent of the total so far disbursed, while crop farmer product commencement would hopefully be at the end of June.
“We are reserving 25 per cent of all loans for farmers. All in all, youth (18-35 years) cutting across all categories) constitute 35 per cent of our beneficiaries,’’ she said.
She, however, said that the implementation of programmes was in line with the promises made in the All Progressives Congress (APC) manifesto.
Uwais said that Nigeria had before feared poorly in its social and human development indices in the past, which continues to be exacerbated by ‘jobless growth’, rising poverty and other forms of social exclusion. (NAN)