Thursday, November 29,
2018 08:35AM / Nifemi TAIYESE of Proshare WebTV
Mrs. Maryam Uwais, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments in a recent interview with Proshare WebTV, explained the role of the Federal Government in ensuring the success of the on-going social investment programme in Nigeria.
According to her there are four broad programmes under which the social investment scheme is being executed, namely;
· Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSF)
· Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
· N-Power Initiative
· National Social Safety Net Programme for the Vulnerable Households
She made mention of the empower programme, and said that the programme is responsible for ensuring that young graduates who are unemployed have the opportunity to get recruited through enlisting for the empowerment programme. She attested that the program is responsible for the recruitment of 500,000 graduates already.
The recruits are now working in every local government in this country at health centres, farms and also showing support in many areas.
However, she stressed The President and the Vice President made efforts to ensure that it is a free and fair process and without partiality, favouritism or nepotism by insisting that list should not be taken from anyone.
Adequate provision is also made for non-graduates as 20,000 non-graduates are currently in the field who have been trained on audited skill centres. Equipment have been given to them to assist in the execution of their work, she said.
She spoke on the school feeding programme that is presently in almost 50,000 schools in 26 states. Speaking affirmatively, Uwais said about 4 more states would be on board by the end of the term.
Through the process payment is being made directly and without the middle man.
The importance of Agriculture for her cannot be overemphasized, because over 9 million children are being fed and they are being fed with food that is grown around them.
This means 6.8 million eggs every week because the children under this programme are being given an egg every week, 594 cows, 83 metric tons of fish. Rice, Vegetables, Maize, Onion, Soya-bean and other food items inclusive stimulates a lot of productivity for our farmers, while ensuring sustainable income.
According to her, there is a cash transfer programme, and it is a community owned process. The people that can access this fund are not randomly selected but are selected by the community. This process is deliberate because they are going round the country.
However, she further stated that people are being trained in the various civil service sectors, the ministry and local government to either become trainers or to be informed on how to conduct Focus Group Discussion (FGD) in order for proper selection to be made.
She acknowledged the present leadership for giving adequate attention to women and widows in this programme.
Conclusively, she said the program is facing many challenges and that this challenges are being addressed. The organisers are now getting feedback that they can’t get sitting in a place and it is considered a good sign.
Speaking further Mryam Uwais noted that they were leveraging on a lot of capacity at federal levels such as the DSS giving regular reports from the field, NOA assisting with verification, and Civil Defence Protection of our women.
The way forward she said is to be cost effective in order for the states to create an institution that can be used for alleviation of poverty in a concerted manner.
“Looking at the situation of things, social investment has been neglected for way too long and this on-going programme needs to be monitored properly so that it can be sustained”- Mrs Uwais said.