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January 22, 2024

Why social investment programmes must be scrapped — Lawyer

Why social investment programmes must be scrapped — Lawyer

A legal practitioner, Inibehe Effiong has urged the Federal Government to scrap the N-Power and other social intervention programmes under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Effiong made this call in an interview on Channels Television on Monday.

Recall that there has been controversy surrounding embattled minister Betta Edu, who was suspended over alleged financial misconduct.

According to Effiong, the social intervention programmes introduced under the humanitarian affairs ministry have not in any way pulled poor Nigerians out of poverty.

He said, “We have been hearing of N-Power over the years. We have now seen that the government is saying that they want to spend N3 billion to audit the social register which is scandalous. What are you spending N3 billion to audit? It’s embarrassing, some of the things we hear in this country.

“So, I am saying that these social intervention schemes or programmes should be scrapped. It has not altered the poverty ratio in the country, it has not had any effect on inflation, it does not improve the purchasing power of the Nigerian people, let us scrap it completely,” Effiong added.

The lawyer also challenged the government to publish the names of the beneficiaries of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) so far for transparency and accountability.

He said that if the people who have benefitted from these programmes cannot be produced by the government, there is no basis to recall the suspended minister whom many of her supporters are now calling for her recall.

He said, “I am putting a challenge today and I hope the EFCC will answer this question because it is not enough to say let us recall her. Who are the beneficiaries?

“And I am biased a bit because my own state is mentioned, that millions were going to go to some indigent people in Akwa Ibom, some to Cross River, Lagos and Ogun states.

“Who are those going to be the final beneficiaries of this money? If at the end of the investigation the EFCC cannot answer this question with the identities of these persons, their accounts, their residences, there will be no basis to recall her (Edu),” he said.

President Bola Tinubu had suspended Edu and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu over alleged corruption.

The President also suspended all administered programmes by the Agency — the N- Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme and Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

Edu and her predecessor, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, as well as Shehu are currently being probed by anti-graft agencies over billions allegedly embezzled in the humanitarian ministry.