The SIP was introduced by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 as part of the government’s efforts to cater for the unemployed, the poor and the vulnerable in society.
The programmes include the N-Power for unemployed graduates; the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme for public primary school pupils; Conditional Cash Transfer to poor Nigerians and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) for small and micro-businesses.
In the 2021 budget, a sum of N420 billion was provided to sustain the social investment programme while N20 billion was set aside for the Family Homes Fund-Social Housing programme.
A financial break down of the budget by Zainab Ahmed, finance minister, also said an additional N365 billion will be injected into “upscaling of National Social Investment Programme (NSIP)”.
But Ndume said despite the huge budgetary allocation, the poor implementation of the intervention programmes has truncated its progress. The senator asked the youths and beneficiaries to hold government agencies accountable by tracking the implementation of the allocated funds and how the money is spent.
“Sincerely, President Buhari has done his bit. No government has done this much for the youth. But, the beneficiaries must ask the right question of where the money is with a view to accessing them,” he said.
“The President has signed the 2021 budget into law and it contains a lot for the youths especially and the poor. As observed in last year’s N13trn budget, which was the highest level of implementation so far, we cannot see it on ground.
“So, what I’m suggesting or what I am urging the youth to do in particular, is to follow their money and ensure that the budget is not only implemented but that there is evidence on ground to show that it is actually implemented to the benefit of the people.
“I am saying this because the government had recently announced over N700bn for intervention in various sectors that are supposed to be targeted towards indigent Nigerians and the vulnerable but we are yet to see some of these actions on ground.
This will be the second time Ali Ndume will be voicing out his displeasure on over FG’s SIP.
Last year, he said Buhari was being betrayed by kleptocrats who have formed a major part of his government, adding that the president has done his best, but that there are people in his government undermining his achievements.
Ali Ndume accused government officials of not doing their job to ensure that the social investment programmes set up by the president yield the desired results.
“You could see even during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was lock down, the president and the business community and the non-governmental agencies came in and then gave the support. But then what happened? They went and locked these thing in various warehouses and then the people went and ransack those places. All these thing would have been avoided,” he said.