…ask him not to play politics with “what brings food to poor man’s table”
The Kwara State beneficiaries of the Federal government’s Nigerian Social Investment Program has faulted the Senate president, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki over his statement on the scheme.
Speaking on behalf of other volunteers, Mr. Dan-Wahab Olarewaju Ambali the coordinator of the group, during a press conference in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital said the N-Power and trader Moni scheme are the first scheme to be benefited by Kwarans from the federal government director without Saraki’s influence.
Dan-Wahab who is a 2009 graduate of Anatomy from the University of Ilorin said he has remain unemployed for 9 year before he benefited from the N-power scheme which enabled him to finance his Masters degree program.
“Like me, Npower and other SIP programs have improve the lives of many that I know in Kwara here. Here with me is Mrs memunat Ismaila who was widowed since 1996 with no help from anywhere. To feed her children, she became a petty trader, selling pepper. She kept struggling for her small business to survive, until respite came when she got the first tranche of Conditional Cash Transfer which she put into her business. She now lives a more dignified life with her children.”
He continued, “Ibrahim Moshood here is a fashion designer who was in need of shop. It was the tradermoni he got that he used to get a shop and standardised his business. So the Social Investment Programs is working for us.”
He therefore emphasised that it is important for then to defend the integrity of the NSIP program so that others can benefit, “that we have find it necessary to come out openly to say that we do not believe that the Nigerian social investment program is tailored towards any political gain. We say this because we heard Dr. Bukola Saraki said that the NSIP is nothing but a “systematic vote buying for the 2019 election”. This cannot be true, since many of us do not start benefiting from this program because the 2019 elections is approaching.”
“Like I said before, I became a beneficiary in 2016; while some of my colleagues got in in 2017. In fact, Dr. Saraki himself has praised the program in the past, and some of his aides indeed tried unsuccessfully to nominate people into the programme claiming they were APC before they defected. The system has been foolproof and neutral. For the first time, we Kwarans are getting things from the Federal Government not through the saraki ladder. Common people are directly being impacted by FG. It has never happened in my adult life. So please Dr. Saraki, should be happy for us and not try to spoil this.”
“Based on verifiable record of beneficiaries in this State and judging by the time we got into the program; we do not agree with Dr. Saraki that the social investment program is tailored towards vote buying in the 2019 election. We therefore appeal to Dr. Saraki and other privileged individuals who may want to play politics with a program that has put food on the table of many of us to please take pity on our poor souls.”
The Trader Moni is one of the government’s initiative under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), a programme targeted towards awarding collateral-free loans to two million petty traders across the country.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has become the face of the programme as he’s launched it in several markets in many states in the country over the past few months.
However, Saraki while speaking during a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, November 30, 2018, Saraki said the present government has been using the programme to induce voters ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
He accused the government of sidelining the opposition from the launching of the programme across the country like it’s not a programme for all Nigerians and not just the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).