FG released N470 billion for SIP out of N1.5 trillion budget in three years

• Shares $22m Abacha loot to poor Nigerians, Amnesty spends N65b on ex-militants

Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments in the Office of the Vice President, Mrs. Maryam Uwais has disclosed that the Implementing Unit of the National Social Investment Office (N-SIO) received N470.825b in three years out of N1.5tr budget.

She explained that the Federal Government allocated N1.5tr in the last three years for poverty alleviation under the Social Investment programme (SIP) in the Office of the Vice President.

Uwais stated this yesterday at a media briefing in Abuja as part of activities marking the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in office, which terminates on May 29.

“Since fiscal year 2016, the Federal Government has been making half a trillion budgetary allocation to address poverty and social exclusion in the country but this has been met with lip service because so far, below a quarter of the budgeted amount has been released in real terms,” she said..

Giving a breakdown of the figures received, she said out of an annual approved budget of N500b, between 2016 and 2018, only N470.8b has so far been released to the NSIO.

“In 2016, we got N79.9b, in 2017 government released N140b and in 2018, it released N250.8b to the SIP Programme,” she added.

Uwais also highlighted implementation of the programme from inception covering all the subsets of the SIP said her office, saying it has begun the distribution of $322m recovered Abacha loot.

She said her office had distributed $22.216m to poor Nigerians under the programme’s cash transfer scheme, adding that under the School Feeding Programme, it recorded 20 per cent increase in school enrolment with over 9.3 million pupils being fed in 30 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said it spent N65b on training and rehabilitation of 30,000 former militants in the Niger Delta in the last one year.

A breakdown of the amount showed that N5.5 billion was spent monthly in various payment receipts for beneficiaries under the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of PAP, Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo, said the amount was captured as the annual budget for the Amnesty Office.

He said 1,300 beneficiaries of the programme have been trained, while another 2,000 will commence training in fisheries and become employed as seafarers after being trained by a Greek firm this week.