Hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries of the National Social Investment Programme, NSIP, from the Bauchi State converged at the venue of the Presidential campaign rally in Bauchi to express their gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the maximum benefits they have been driving from the programme.
The beneficiaries led by the Bauchi state coordinator of the Independent Monitors, a forum of the programme beneficiaries, Mubarak Ahmed Limanci said that they have categories of beneficiaries of the programme under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development under Sadiya Umar Farouq.
Limanci categorized the beneficiaries under the NSIP components namely N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer, and Independent Monitors, among others in which millions of youths and women from the six geo-political zones benefitted, saying they enjoyed the N30, 000 monthly allowances.
Malam Mubarak Limanci however expressed concern that there are few beneficiaries of the N-Power that were unable to enjoy the monthly allowances due to some mixed-ups in their BVN while others out of self-aggrandizements opted to enjoy duo components of the programme for reasons best known to them.
He explained that the programmes have not only salvaged the beneficiaries from abject poverty and made their self-reliance, but also made some of them employers of labour, and expressed confidence that the likely incoming Asiwaju Tinubu-led federal government would take up the programme for its continuity.
President Muhammadu Buhari was in Bauchi Monday to propel the wheels of the APC Presidential Campaign rally which was boosted by the party’s top hierarchy that included members of the APC Governors Forum, national officers of the party led by the chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, as well as the party’s presidential candidate and his running-mate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kassim Shettima.
Also speaking at the occasion, the National Coordinator of Social Investment Programmes (NSIP), Dr Umar Buba Bindir commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment and support toward ensuring the success of the program, and called on beneficiaries to use the opportunity and improve their well-being.
Dr Umar Bindir said that NSIP comprises N Power, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP) National Home Grown School Feeding Program and the Conditional Cash Transfer Program which, he observed, have impacted positively in the lives of many Nigerians.
Bindir noted that thousands of the NSIP beneficiaries seized the opportunity of Buhari’s visit to converged to express their appreciation to the President for the benefits derivable from the programme.
The national coordinator also noted that the law establishing the National Social Investment Programme as a federal government’s parastatal is before President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent, and urged the APC presidential candidate to ensure its sustainability if eventually assumes the mantle of leadership of the country.
He traced the history of the programme back to 2016 when it was introduced by the Buhari-led federal government to tackle poverty and hunger across the country, geared at ensuring equitable distribution of the nation’s resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth and women.
The N-power component of the programme is designed to assist young Nigerians between the ages of 18 to 35 to acquire and develop life-long skills for becoming change-makers in their communities and players in the domestic and global markets and were given a stipend of N30,000 monthly.
“Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) is a micro-lending intervention that targets traders, artisans, enterprising youth, farmers and women in particular, by providing loans between 10,000 and 100, 000 at no monthly cost to beneficiaries”, he said.
“The Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSF) is aimed to deliver school feeding to young children with a specific focus on increasing school enrollment, reducing the incidence of malnutrition (especially among the poor and those ordinarily unable to eat a meal-a-day), empowering community women as cooks and by supporting small farmers that help stimulate economic growth”.
“This informed the decision to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion. NSIP is one of the largest social protection programmes in Africa with about $ 1 billion earmarked annually to cause positive change in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the country.
“Since its introduction in 2016, the programme has impacted positively on the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria.”
“In furtherance to President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for the restructuring of NSIP, and in line with the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS), we instituted processes to revamp and expand the NSIP and to make it more impactful on the economy and citizens. This is consistent with the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.”
Similarly, while commenting on the programme, the director-general of the Tinubu/Shettima presidential campaign council and Governor of Plateau state, Mr Simon Lalong thumped up for President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk for their commitment to the programme which salvages the poor from financial doldrums.
Also speaking, some of the beneficiaries under the National Home Grown School Feeding Program Malama Fatima Ali and Hajara Sulaiman, appreciated President Buhari and Minister Sadiya for their kind gesture.