The leadership of the National Assembly on Thursday dismissed reports that it labelled the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs) a failure as misleading.
The NASS leadership in a statement issued on Thursday by the Special Adviser on Media to President of the Senate, Ola Awoniyi, claimed there were misrepresentations of what was discussed at a meeting with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq.
The statement read: “The attention of the leadership of the National Assembly has been drawn to reactions to some newspaper reports on its meeting with the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, which held on Tuesday 7th April, 2020.
“The leadership of the National Assembly had called the meeting as part of the legislature’s collaborations with the executive arm of government for effective management of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria and mitigation of the harsh effects of the measures adopted in this respect on Nigerians.
The focus of the said meeting was the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which is the vehicle that the government is using to convey its palliative packages to the most vulnerable Nigerians against the backdrop of the lockdown called in many parts of the country to check the spread of the deadly disease.
“It is worth noting that NSIP has been in existence since 2016 and has been pursuing President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to alleviate the conditions of especially the poorest in society.
“At the meeting with the minister, the leadership of the National Assembly made some observations on aspects of the NSIP and recommended that the implementation process be fine tuned and the scheme be backed with legislation to make it more efficient, effective and accord with global best practices.
“Although the official press statement issued at the end of the meeting clearly conveyed the deliberations and resolution of the meeting, some misrepresentations appeared in the reports by one or two newspapers.
“The leadership of the National Assembly would not have suggested an enabling legislation for the NSIP if it does not believe in the relevance of the scheme.
“We believe this misrepresentation misled the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais to issue a rejoinder on the matter.”