Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Protection Investment, says no fewer than 8.4 million Nigerians will benefit from the Federal Government’s Social Intervention Project.
Uwais made the statement on Thursday in Abuja in a presentation: “Investing in our People.”
The presentation was made at a workshop on National Social Protection Policy Framework by Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Uwais said that the Special Intervention Project was designed for delivery under five clearly defined programmes to restore livelihoods, economic opportunities and sustenance for the poor.
The Presidential Aide listed the five programmes to include N-power, Home Grown School Feeding, Cash Transfers, Enterprise and Empowerment Programme and STEM Bursary Programme.
She said 500,000 graduates and 100,000 non-graduates jobs would be targeted to train unemployed graduates as teachers, and non-graduates as artisans under the N-Power programme.
She said 5.5 million pupils would be targeted under the School feeding for primary school children from foods locally sourced from within the country.
She said that direct cash transfers of N5,000 monthly is targeted at one million beneficiaries in poor vulnerable households across the country
Uwais said: “We are targeting 1.66 million beneficiaries for financial inclusion and access to credit for market women, artisans, women cooperatives, youth and farmers under the GEEP.
“Also, 100,000 students are to benefit from STEM with Bursary Programme for financial support for tertiary students studying courses in Education, Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.”
Uwais said the Federal Government had implemented about 26 social protection programmes from year 2000 till date.
She said Non-Governmental Organisations as well as various donor agencies had also implemented and supported a number of social protection programmes in the country.
Uwais, however stated that the programmes had not been successful due to “weak synergy” between the Federal Government and states, improper targeting of beneficiaries, weak monitoring and evaluation systems.
She said lack of transparent and effective payment systems, limited coverage and lack of proper accounting of the impact of the programmes had also affected their successful implementation.
Uwais said in solving these issues and ensuring high-level co-ordination for all the social protection programmes in Nigeria, the Federal Government has set up a Social Investment Office.
She said the office is domiciled in the office of the Vice President to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation and standardise delivery mechanisms.
“It is also aimed at avoiding duplication of roles and responsibilities; and to ensure proper coordination and synergy amongst key MDAs,” she said.
Uwais promised that the office would fulfill its social role to citizens through co-ordination and the development of sustainable and transparent delivery systems that would ensure the harmonisation of the various programmes.
The Federal Government has budgeted N500 billion for social investment programmes in the 2016 budget to uplift Nigerians from poverty and economic hardship.