Wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, has indicted the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, alleging that the implementation of Social Investment Programmes (SIP) failed in the North.
She made the disclosure on Saturday at an interactive programme for women at the State House, Abuja.
Mrs. Buhari further disclosed that she was assured that 30,000 women would benefit from the programme from Adamawa but as the administration winds down, she was yet to hear from them.
According to her: “Concerning the N500 billion voted for SIP, that was part of 2015 campaigns where they promised to give out N10,000, feed pupils in primary schools and give N5,000 to the poorest of the poorer.
“The SSA to the president on social investment is a lady from Kano and I’m sure that my husband decided to put somebody from Kano (there) because of the population and political impact it made. I have never asked how the money is being used or is being given out. I met Barrister (one of the President’s aides on SIP) once, and he promised me that for my state (Adamawa), we should have 30,000 women to be given N10,000. Up till now, I haven’t heard from him.
“I don’t want to raise an alarm that my state did not benefit from it (where the SGF come from). I kept quiet because I don’t want people to say that I talk too much.
“Recently I saw a 74-year-old man selling petty things in Kano, I asked him how much was his capital, he told me between N3,000 and N4,000. Don’t forget that we had campaigned to give the poorest of the poor, N5,000 every month.
“So I don’t know where the social investment… Maybe, it worked out in some states. In my own state, only a local government benefited out of the 22. I didn’t ask what happened and I don’t want to know for it failed woefully in Kano; it’s not a good sign and it’s not a good thing. We have a lot of women that do business locally; due to the cultural thing in the North, they are at home doing their businesses. Some are millionaires, some have thousands of naira; they need the assistance, but they do not get it. Most northern women do not belong to any market association
“I was expecting that N500 billion to be utilised in different methods in the North for the aim to be achieved. I don’t know the method they used but most of the northern states did not get it. My state did not get it,” he said.
“How many of you got it in your states?
My state did not benefit from it,” the women chorused.
Then Mrs. Buhari added: “It worked out well in a situation whereby they had market associations but I was thinking different methods should be used in the North.”
She also expressed reservations over the $16 million counterpart fund expended on mosquito nets.
“I have heard about mosquito nets for which Nigeria paid $16m as counterpart funding. I asked them to give my own share of the net to send on my village people. But I didn’t get that.
“They have spent $16 million on buying mosquito nets; I did not get it; maybe some people have got it. But I feel that’s my opinion; $16 million is enough to fumigate mosquitoes in Nigeria. That’s my opinion,” she said.