The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has fired back at the Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed after the governor alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Social Investment Programme was a conduit pipe for siphoning public funds.
Ripples Nigeria reported that the governor lampooned the programme as a mere façade especially in his state.
The governor had made the allegation on Wednesday, January 19 at the flag-off of the Bauchi state government’s Economic Empowerment Programme in Dambam local government area of the state.
He alleged that “over N1trilion federal government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) has been siphoned by public and political office holders under president Muhammadu Buhari’s nose”.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Friday, by the National Coordinator, NSIP, Engr. Umar Bindir, the ministry described the allegation by the governor as “Unsubstantiated” and “manifestly false”.
The ministry argued that the programme was “very much alive, functional, dynamic and increasingly expanding to reach and continue to make a significant positive difference in the lives of even more poor and vulnerable households and beneficiaries nationwide, including Bauchi State.”
It was stated that the allegation by Mohammed suggests that he may have lost touch with the realities in his state.
“The attention of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is drawn to a statement credited to the Bauchi State Governor, His Excellency, Senator Bala Mohammed, who alleged that ‘over N1trilion federal government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) has been siphoned by public and political office holders under president Muhammadu Buhari’s nose’.
“The Ministry wishes to categorically affirm that the above unsubstantiated statements credited to the Bauchi State Governor are manifestly false, and have absolutely no bearing to the realities on ground.”
The rebuttal statement from the ministry also stated that the programme, albeit an initiative of the Buhari-led federal government, was implemented by state government alongside the national team of the NSIP.
“The head of the State NSIP implementation team is a Focal Person directly appointed by His Excellency, the Governor”.
Attempting an analysis of how the social intervention programme works, the statement outlined the funding and execution modes of schemes under it, including the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), N-Power, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), Grant for Rural Women, among others.
By Oluwatobi Odeyinka
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