President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed that the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) will now be superintended by the Minister of Humanitarian Services, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar -Farooq.
The programme is one of the highlights of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration. It is seen as welfarism for those who wish to be ideological about political economy since it’s a major avenue through which the current administration is empowering the masses. Nigeria has at least 80 million poor people living below poverty line. It was conceptualized and hitherto supervised by the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
In his Independence Day broadcast, the President said the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will consolidate on the achievement of the scheme.
“Our ongoing N500 billion Special Intervention Programme continues to target these vulnerable groups, through the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and social housing scheme,” he said.
“To institutionalize these impactful programmes, we created the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development which shall consolidate and build on our achievements to date. To the beneficiaries of these programmes, I want to reassure you that our commitment to social inclusion will only increase.”
It is not clear however if the VP was sought out on who leads the new ministry having worked with his Special Adviser on NSIP, Maryam Uwais for the past four years. The new minister Umar-Farooq who hails from Zamfara State is said to be a close political associate of the President.
The development appears to support recent insinuations about on-going alleged undercutting of the influence of Osinbajo, however our sources say the office of the Vice President was an ad-hoc arrangement pending when the programme will be institutionalized.