Stop playing politics with the National Social Investment Program in Bauchi State – Group tells Bauchi Gov.


A Group called ZAUREN MUTANEN JIHAR BAUCHI has cautions the Bauchi State Governor Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed against making statements that undermines the efforts of the Federal Government in addressing unemployment, poverty and Youth restiveness through the National Social Investment Program (NSIP).

The Group in a Statement issued to Journalists in Bauchi, frown at how the Governor made some provocative statements about the successes recorded in the program. The statement reads in part;

The attention of ZAUREN MUTANEN JIHAR BAUCHI – an umbrella organization working tirelessly for political, social and economic development and progress of Bauchi State as an entity as well as its citizens – has been drawn to a maliciously designed and dubiously crafted partisan statement delivered by the Governor of Bauchi State, His Excellency Senator Bala Mohammed [KAURAN BAUCHI] bandying around unfounded accusation of massive fraud at the National Social Investment Program under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

Governor Mohammed is recorded at a function to have recently alleged that funds totaling more than One Trillion Naira have been siphoned by public and political office holders, thereby leading to collapse of the program and even challenging the Federal Administration to adopt his government’s empowerment program under the title ‘Kaura Economic Empowerment Program [KEEP]’ while at a function in one of the Local Government Areas of the State.

These accusations to any sane and indeed all well-meaning Nigerians are at best laughable.

“Coming from a sitting governor who is in the position to know better however goes to show how low supposedly enlightened members of society bestowed with opportunity to serve at the pinnacle of leadership will go in standing truth and logic on their heads for primordially selfish political gains. Indeed, given his hallowed position as one among equals in the comity of governors of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, Nigerians would have expected His Excellency to have brought up such weighty allegations before the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

Or seek an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari. Or Indeed go to court if indeed he has an iota of evidence in his hands, instead of being unguarded in utterances capable of belittling his person and constitutionally mandated high office bestowed upon him in trust by and for the people of Bauchi State.

“We are not making a statement in defense of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development or indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria as both have ample reservoir of personnel and resources at their disposal to do such.” No! We are rather driven by the love for our dear Bauchi State to remind Governor Bala Mohammed that playing politics with a novel program as the NSIP that is touching the lives of millions of Nigerians is akin to presenting our citizenry as an ungrateful bunch under his leadership in a ‘Civil Servants State’ that has from day one failed to settle workers’ salaries as and when due.”

Indeed, there is no gain stating the fact that under his administration, government is still unable to determine the number of workers employed at both state and local governments levels, 3 years after taking office. In addition, the current administration in Bauchi State is beating its chest over a so-called ‘urban renewal’ program wastefully spending resources in the construction of a new Government House and a few tertiary roads at grossly inflated costs for the benefits of the First Family and political cronies, without recourse to addressing the real challenges of development facing the people such as unemployment, poverty and penury bedeviling the citizenry.

Indeed, what the administration proudly calls its empowerment program is nothing more than recycling poverty among the few political acolytes of the Governor, sharing meagre resources in return for political support.

“His Excellency may wish to recall that his coming to power in 2019 was another attestation to the nationally-acknowledged dynamism and dexterity of the political terrain in Bauchi State. This is in spite of the now open secret way and manner the Peoples’ Democratic Party [PDP] employed means fair and foul to defeat the then incumbent after winning majority votes in 17 out of 20 LGAs, as well as in the courts during the post-election litigations” it reads.

Needless however to remind His Excellency is that taking the oaths of office and allegiance as Governor is a call to serve all citizens of the State equally, without fear or favor, affection or ill will.

For the avoidance of doubt, ZAUREN MUTANEN BAUCHI wish to place on record our own findings on the NSIP programs with particular reference to Bauchi State since its creation some 6 years ago:In the State alone, the program under the Conditional Cash Transfer [CCT] component targeted at supporting the poor and vulnerable households at the grassroots has identified and enrolled 75,110 families made up of 401, 395 individuals into the National Social Register who receive N5,000:00 each monthly as grants and payments are up to date; Under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program [GEEP], a total of 37,907 individuals from the 20 LGAs of the State have so far benefited from interest-free and collateral-free soft loans which is being credited directly into their bank accounts under the Market Moni, Trader Moni and Farmer Moni products of the program;

The N-Power component of the program has to date admitted a total of 30,524 sons and daughters of Bauchi State into its various sections including N-Build, N-Teach, N-Knowledge and Mobile Money Agents throughout the 20 LGAs from inception to date, earning N30,000:00 each monthly as grants.

By far the most talked-about and indeed highly beneficial component of the National Social Investment Program in Bauchi State just like all others is the National Home-Grown School Feeding [NHGSFP] through which pupils of primary schools are fed meal daily during the school calendar.

In the State as at today, 3,357 primary schools are registered with a total of 444,099 pupils. In addition, 7,538 cooks together with 12 food aggregators are engaged in the program, receiving hundreds of millions of Naira monthly.In addition, the Grant for Rural Women project approved by Mr. President recently to empower rural poor and vulnerable women through an advance of a one-off grant of N20,000:00 each to engender financial inclusion and enhance rural informal enterprises has so far benefited 8,671 women indigenes of Bauchi State.Other programs under the NSIP include the engagement of community-based Independent Monitors employed to ensure effective implementation of the programs in the state; the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics centers with requisite ICT tools and equipment as well as the Alternate School Program that targets to reach 1,000,000 out of school children are at various stages of implementation in Bauchi State like in others throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In conclusion, ZAUREN MUTANEN JIHAR BAUCHI wishes to call the attention of Governor [Sen.] Bala Mohammed as current leader of all citizens of Bauchi State to stop dragging the image of our dear state in the mud. Not all things governance should be politicized.

As far as the various National Social Investment Programs are concerned, the State and its citizens are proud beneficiaries and no amount of animosity or wishful thinking can change that. We therefore must thank the Federal Government of Nigeria under the willing, able and capable leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR and indeed the Honorable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Haj. Sadiya Umar Farouk for these and many other programs that are directly touching the lives of our citizens under the National Social Investment Program.

Finally, we wish to advise His Excellency to tinker with his Kaura Economic Empowerment Program [KEEP] with a view to reaching out to the people instead of using it to oil his political machinery as it is being done today.

Suffice it to add that not much can be achieved at the slow pace even such constitutional responsibilities as payment of salaries, pensions and gratuity for civil servants [retired and serving] are being shirked under your leadership. The day KEEP will touch the lives of the citizens like the NSIP programs does will be the day we will roll out the drums to beat, dance and sing the praise of this administration to high heavens.

As at the present pace however, we look forward to the Kaura Economic Empowerment Program [KEEP] attaining just 10% of what impact the National Social Investment Program [NSIP] of the Federal Government is doing in our dear Bauchi State between now and 2023.

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