The Senior Special Assistant to the President on social investment, Maryam Uwais, has defended the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes (SIP).
Uwais said Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari who criticised SIP, would have been able to find all beneficiaries of the project if she had access to available data.
Speaking on Channels Television, the presidential aide said about 290,000 beneficiaries from Adamawa, Aisha’s home state, were being paid under the initiative.
The Cable reports that Buhari’s wife had said the programme being coordinated by Uwais failed in the north.
But speaking during the live programme, Uwais said Aisha spoke without the knowledge of available records on SIP.
Uwais said, “I believe that if she (Aisha) were to listen to the information they have there, if she were to check our data, she would be able to find all the beneficiaries.
“Yes, she may not have met them. But we are in 12 local government areas for the cash transfer. We are also in 12 LGAs for loans. So, I think we have at least 290,000 beneficiaries directly that we are paying in Adamawa State.”
Uwais said the school feeding programme was also ongoing in over 1,000 public primary schools in Adamawa and that more could have been done with more funding.
“We have over 11,000 graduates recruited and working in her home state. We have non-graduates, 440; we started the school feeding programme in October 2018, we are in 1,054 public primary schools,” she said.