‘Are They Paying Ghosts?’ Federal Lawmaker Questions NSIP’s Credibility
Following allegations of a scam in the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), a Federal lawmaker, Ben Kalu, has further questioned the Special Adviser to the President on NSIP, Mrs Maryam Uwais on the credibility of the implementation of the programme.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development had earlier in April commenced the payment of conditional cash transfer to poor households in Abuja to assuage the effects of COVID-19 lockdown.
Kalu, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Media in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Thursday said the Federal Government should be more transparent about how the money is disbursed by making public the names of the beneficiaries of the programme.
“We are faced with a crisis. This is an intervention programme. We are supposed to feel the impact now. The poor should feel the impact of this programme.
“You said you shared money recently and I represent a constituency. And there are 360 of us (Federal Lawmakers) and all of them are saying we are not feeling the impact.
“Who are you paying this money to?. Where is the register you are using? How did you compute that register? Where are you publishing it? ,” Kalu questioned.
He added that, “You said you paid 100 people from my constituency, we cant see them. Are they ghosts? Are you paying ghosts? Publish their names let us see the beneficiaries.”
In response, Uwais also during the interview on Channels Television said the Ministry worked with traditional rulers in identifying the poor households that benefit from the programme.
She added that the law (FoI Act) forbids making public the names of beneficiaries of grants without their consent.
“Section 14 of the FoI Act says people who receive social grants should not be published or made disclosed without pre-consent,” Uwais said.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila had earlier on Tuesday faulted the implementation of the programmed after a meeting with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq in Abuja.
They called for the immediate suspension of the register used for the scheme when they were informed by officials that accompanied the Minister to the gathering that some N12billion was being paid monthly for school feeding programme without verification.