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Buhari govt denies mismanagement of SIPs funds

The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that its social intervention funds have not been mismanaged.

A press release on Wednesday by the National Social Investment Office (NSIO), explained that the funding and disbursement of its resources had always been done by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

The statement signed and issued by NSIO’s Communications Manager, Justice Bibiye, also maintained that the Office of the Vice President was not involved in the financial transactions or the disbursement of funds for the programme.

It said the Steering Committee for the NSIO, chaired by the Vice President, only supervises the implementation of the Social Investment Programmes, SIPs.

According to Bibiye, the Steering Committee comprises nine ministers, including that of Finance; Education; Health; Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs; Labour and Productivity; Information; with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning as the Secretariat.

The press release read in part, “The NSIO has continued to prioritise transparency in disbursements. It has also ensured a level-playing field for all the beneficiaries, collated data and verified identities of beneficiaries of the different schemes, through a close collaboration with relevant agencies of government.

“All payments on the programmes are transferred directly to beneficiaries from the Federal Government coffers.

“The only exception is in relation to the cash transfer programme, basically because the beneficiaries reside in areas where there is a dearth of banking infrastructure.

“Being much too poor to travel long distances to receive the monthly N5,000 disbursements, the decision was taken to ensure the funds are conveyed to them at their places of residence.

“Furthermore, in a departure from past experiences in similar programmes, whereby beneficiaries were selected in an opaque manner, this Administration’s Cash Transfer beneficiaries are identified by members of the communities themselves, through a tripartite method.”

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