The Buhari administration may have fed from the data base of poorest Nigerians generated by former president, Goodluck Jonathan. This is the claim of the presidency as made by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
In his press update on the progress of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes, SIP, over the weekend, Akande explained how the Community-Based Targeting, CBT model of the World Bank was used two years ago to identify most of the beneficiaries in the pilot States, as the World Bank is also an active agent in the entire process. But he added that the data collected belongs to Nigeria.
According to Akande, ” there is no way anyone can describe the selection of the beneficiaries of the CCT as partisan as the beneficiaries from eight of the nine pilot States were picked even before this administration came into office.”
“First, the officials at Federal level, working with the State officials, identify the poorest Local Government Areas, using an existing poverty map for the State, then the LG officials identify the poorest communities in the LGAs and we send our teams there.
“The first thing our team does after selection of the LGAs is to select members of the NOA, the LGA and community officials to form the CBT team. Then we train the selected officials on how to conduct Focus Group discussions at community level. These focus groups comprise of women, men, youth, as the community determines.”
According to Akande, in 8 of the nine pilot States, this process had taken place at least 2 years ago under a programme supported by the World Bank under an Agreement entered into directly with the State Governments, on the YESSO project. The ninth state is Borno, which was added because of the IDP situation, with the list of the beneficiaries that has been verified by SEMA.
“This is an entirely fair and transparent process and short of mischief, there is no way you can describe this process as partisan. The President is President of the entire country and the SIPs are for all Nigerians as the case may be,” he said.
The Social Investment Programme, a cardinal promise of the All Progressives Congress party, has come under intense scrutiny by the many who believe that its processes and procedures should be subjected to greater transparency.
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