By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja

The Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks, CNSCSN, have petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, asking it to investigate the implementation of the federal government government Social Intervention Programmes component of interest across the country.

In a letter addressed to the Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulraheed Bawa and signed by the President, Kano Civil Society Forum, Kano State, Amb Ibrahim A Waiya and 19 others, they said that they are seriously disturbed by the recent survey publication of National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, tagged Multidimensional Poverty Index, MPI, Survey wherein, Northern states were reported to have the worst indices.

“This is of great concern considering the huge investment made by the Federal government through Social Investment programmes where hundreds of thousands of citizens were supposedly reported to have received one form of economic support or the other.

“Unfortunately, the recent publication by the NBS indicated otherwise, as it does not translate to an improvement or betterment of life for the poor people in Nigeria particularly in the Northern region. 63% of persons living within Nigeria (133 million people) are multi -dimensionally poor, 65% of the poor (86 million people) live in the North, while 35% (nearly 47 million) live in the South.

“According to the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper report of January 14th 2022, the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq said the Federal Government of Nigeria spends the sum of One Billion Dollars on National Social Investment Programmes annually since 2016.

“As a network of civil society representing over three thousand individual organizations across the Nineteen Northern State and FCT, it is our belief that dismissing the Managing Director for NIRSAL, is not enough by now, as discreet investigation should be conducted to unravel the alleged misappropriation of public funds .

“We, however, have conducted preliminary investigation through our state member organizations, and the findings indicated possible tendency of irregularities in the application of the funds across the States. The interventions that were meant for the poor in most cases ended up being diverted to unintended and undeserving beneficiaries,” the group added.

“It is against this background, we write to your good office to seek for thorough investigation into the application of some Special Intervention Programmes Funds. We beseech a thorough investigation into the application of such Funds. The findings of your investigation should be published to reveal the names of the beneficiaries and the total amount disbursed from 2016 to date, as well as the Government Agency responsible for the implementation of each Programme.

“It is equally pertinent that, any person or group of persons found culpable in any way, such person or group of persons should be subjected to face the wrath of the law, no matter his/her social standing.

“The components of the Special Intervention Programmes shall include but not limited to the following: Central Bank of Nigeria Economic Stimulus Interventions, notably known as, Anchor Borrowers Scheme. National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP). Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP);

“N- Power Job Creation Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme, Covid 19 Special intervention Funds Programmes, NIRSAL Microfinance Loans Scheme, SMEDAN Cash Transfer Interventions, NDE Special Public Works Programme, National Housing Funds, FERMA Projects, National Housing Funds, Federal Government Ecological Funds to States, NALDA Programmes (Presidency) and BESDA Programmes in States especially the matching grant, ” the group added.

The post Poverty: Investigate social intervention programmes, Northern CSOs task FG appeared first on Vanguard News.

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