The Gombe State Government has described Senator Danjuma Goje’s call to scrap the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as “baseless.”
Senator Danjuma Goje, who doubles as chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, had threatened to cut down on the proposed National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) N500 billion allocations in the 2018 budget over allegation that no single person from Gombe State has benefited from the N-Power programme.
In a prompt response, the Gombe State government described Senator Goje’s claim as “untrue” noting that the State currently enjoys the services of over 2,800 beneficiaries of NPower programme who are presently providing services in the health, agro allied and education sectors respectively.
In a press statement signed by Hajia M.I Mele, special adviser to Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo on Social Investment Project, she explained that additional 7,000 people from the second batch of the NPower program have been verified and are awaiting placement and postings.
She said: “It may interest the senators that 2,809 food vendors are currently providing highly nutritious meals to about 286,000 pupils in the state. In Senator Goje’s Senatorial District, 162 food vendors have been verified to provide meals for 14,342 pupils daily in the Senator’s local government which happens to have the highest number of vendors and pupils in the State.’’
Mele posited that a total of 419 food vendors have been engaged by the NPower programme in Gombe state with more than 36,117 pupils fed at the grassroots. “Yamaltu Deba Local Government happens to be amongst the 3 pilot Local Government Areas for the conditional cash transfer program, a local government within the senators constituency.
“More than 200 cooperative groups from Senator Goje’s constituency have so far applied for the government empowerment and entrepreneurship program (GEEP) and awaiting disbursements from bank of industry,” Mele added.
Hajia Mele further commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) for the wonderful initiative aim at addressing the poor and vulnerable in the country.
According to her, the State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo has provided unwavering support to the overwhelming success of the program in the state. She however urged lawmakers at the national assembly not to play politics with matters of national importance especially those that aim at addressing the poor.
“The national assembly should key in to the success of the programme and appropriate more funds in order to maintain the tempo of the programme and support the President Muhammadu Buharis focus on poverty alleviation and socio economic development,” Mele added.
Meanwhile, Nigerians from all walks of life have taken to social media to condemn the former governor of Gombe State, and chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje for his comments faulting the federal government’s Social Investment Programmes (SIP).
The SIPs include N-Power, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, GEEP and Conditional Cash Transfer. According to some, they believe that Goje criticised the federal government because of the impact of the programme on improving the welfare of the poor, unlike his claim.
In response, one Aliyu Saidu, said, “I strongly believe there are two reasons why Sen GOJE and other senators are against President Buhari’s SIP. One, Senator like Goje don’t get a single Kobo from the projects as bribe, two, FG doesn’t allow NASS members to select the beneficiaries of NPOWER, Food suppliers.”
Another beneficiary, Ochonu said, “Sir, the N-power programme was never a Scam, most of us are beneficiaries and the program has brought a hope to a lot of hopeless Nigerians who initially never knew that they could benefit anything from the Government of Nigeria. Haba Distinguished Senator Goje!”
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