Fed Govt goes after social intervention saboteurs

The Federal Government has vowed to track down and prosecute individuals sabotaging its Social Intervention Programmes (SIPs)

Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, said: “Efforts are being intensified to track down those bent on sabotaging the SIPs by exploiting beneficiaries for personal gains, or even sensationalising untruths to discredit the efforts at uplifting poorer citizens of the country from poverty.”
The Presidential Adviser stated this in a statement on Sunday.
She disclosed that the National Social Investment Office (NSIO), is working with the relevant security agencies to ensure that those found wanting are arrested and prosecuted.
Uwais also stated that government will continue to mainstream the principles of Transparency, Accountability and Probity in the implementation of the Social Intervention Programmes of the President Buhari Administration.
She responded against the backdrop of media reports which quoted her to have accused Monarchs and other Traditional Rulers in the Country of collecting bribes from beneficiaries of the Social Intervention Programmes of the Federal Government, urging members of the public to dismiss such reports as sensationalism and a total misrepresentation of facts.
She said she did not mention Monarchs or Traditional rulers as among those involved in demanding kickbacks from SIP beneficiaries in rural areas.
She noted that her comments “were based on the outcome of investigations triggered by an individual in the audience, relating to complaints by some beneficiaries who alleged being short-changed by some community leaders in Osun State.
According to the her: “A young man had publicly reported that some beneficiaries were being shortchanged in his community, so I promised to have it investigated. This investigation was carried out by ANEEJ, the principal monitor of disbursements of the Abacha restituted funds.”
The report of the investigation she said “revealed that the disclosures were essentially factual. Some community leaders and LGA officials were in the habit of demanding levies after payment is concluded in the communities. So we resolved to undertake measures to counter those adverse practices in the field. Indeed, we are planning an event in the communities to engage the beneficiaries with a view to building their confidence, so they can refuse to accede to such demands”
Those who understand the leadership structure in our communities would know that monarchs are not the only set of persons classified as community leaders. Our Royal Fathers are usually supported by others in the hierarchy to superintend over community affairs.
In addition to field reports we get from our independent monitors and volunteers, we have continued to encourage and welcome feedbacks from members of the public, on acts of infraction and other challenges that can assist government to achieve better results in the implementation of the Social Safety Net Programmes.
Source: thenationonlineng.net

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