Nigerian Senate yesterday declared that the N-Power and other National Social Investment Programmes under the Buhari government were not being felt by the people.
The lawmakers stated this after Maryam Uwais, the special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on NSIP informed the National Assembly that the programme received between 2016 and 2017 N175billion out of the N1 trillion approved in the budgets for the two years.
Senator Danjuma Goje, chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation openly criticized the scheme when Uwais appeared to provide clarification on the 2018 budget estimate.
The special adviser said: “You may kindly recall that a sum of N500 billion was appropriated for the NSIP budget in 2017, out of which N100 billion was allocated for the Social Housing Scheme under the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“Further more, out of the balance N400 billion, only N90 billion was released to the NSIP for the year 2017.”
She also said that the programme received the sum of N85 billion in 2016.
“Unfortunately, N100 billion is deducted at source for Housing Scheme by the Federal Ministry of Financ,” she said.
However, Goje state that the NSIP was gradually going the way of the disbanded Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
He said the Senate would not hesitate to drastically reduce the yearly allocation of N500 billion to NSIP if its performance did not improve.
Goje, who stressed the importance of the programme, noted that by the end of three years, the NSIP would have handled N1.5 trillion which, according to him was unprecedented.
“Many people are complaining that they have not seen the impact of the programme considering the magnitude of the fund involved.
“I am from Gombe State, I represent Gombe Central. I am yet to see one single boy who came to tell me that he has benefited from your N500 billion.
“Many other Nigerians are saying the same thing. N500 billion for 36 states is about N13 billion. If you spend N13 billion in one year in Gombe State, there is no way I would not have known, other people will also know.
“If you spend N500 billion in one year in Nigeria, Nigerians will know. No single All Progressives Congress person from Gombe State has benefited from your School Feeding Programme.
“No single person from Gombe State has benefited from your N-Power. We don’t know about your N-Power. As far as many of us are concerned, we are completely dissatisfied with what you are doing,” he said.
Goje also said that there was no indication to show that N100 billion was deducted from source for Social Housing Scheme by the Ministry of Finance.