Reps to investigate alleged irregularities in Nigerian govt’s social intervention schemes

House of Reps

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to investigate alleged irregularities in the management of Federal Government’s social intervention programmes.

It has therefore mandated its Committee on Appropriation and Poverty Alleviation to investigate the Ministries of Finance, and Budget and National Planning to ascertain the method of identification and selection of beneficiaries of the scheme.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Mark Gbillah (Benue-APC).

The committees are to report their findings to the house within four weeks.

Moving the motion earlier, Mr. Gbillah stressed the need to prevent the social intervention schemes from being politicised, adding that the recipients should be ascertained.

According to him, proper identification and selection of targeted vulnerable Nigerians should be done.

It could be recalled that the Federal Government had, as one of its cardinal policy initiatives, introduced four schemes for the various segments of the society.

The schemes are Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, the N-Power programme which targets to train and equip youths as teachers and agricultural and health workers on a monthly stipend of N30, 000 for graduates among them.

It includes N5, 000 monthly Conditional Cash Transfer to one million Nigerians, and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), a loan scheme of between N10, 000 and N100, 000 for artisans, market women, small businesses and unemployed youths.

Mr. Gbillah queried the efficacy of the methodology and criteria employed in identifying and selecting the beneficiaries.

According to him, the veracity of the identity of the beneficiaries and the certainty of the selection of the targeted demography leaves cause for concern by Nigerians.

“The Federal Government has completely ceded the identification and selection process for these programmes to the states to be superintended by coordinators appointed by the state governments.

“This is without the oversight or involvement of the federal institutions which conceptualised the schemes.

“The ceding of these responsibilities solely to the states has allegedly resulted in the nomination of beneficiaries who are loyal party members and stalwarts of the state governments, excluding Nigerians who are genuinely in need of this intervention.

“There is therefore the need to protect interests of all Nigerian citizens regardless of party affiliation and to ensure equitable participation of all Nigerians in the social intervention schemes of the Federal Government,’’ Mr. Gbillah said.

Contributing, Herman Hembe supported the call for the investigation, saying there was need to ensure that the right persons for whom the schemes were created were the actual beneficiaries.

“It is important to determine who qualifies as a beneficiary and what amount is paid to them as well as lack of involvement of critical stakeholders in the schemes,’’ Mr. Hembe said.



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