Laleye Dipo in Minna
The federal government will soon review the bursary aspect of its Social Intervention Investment Programme, THISDAY has learnt.
According to findings, the need to review arose after it was discovered that the amount to be disbursed every session to would-be beneficiaries was inadequate.
Also, it was learnt that the total number of the beneficiaries was discovered to be grossly short of what could make impact across the country.
The observations were made at a meeting of officials in charge of the empowerment programme from across the country when they met in Abuja last week and they were said to have immediately raised the issue with the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo who is in charge of the programme.
THISDAY gathered that the 100,000 proposed for bursary beneficiaries from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) should be doubled while the N5,000 per beneficiary should be improved upon.
As a result of these observations, the scheme may not take off until the end of the first semester to enable other observations to be corrected so that ‘the scheme will begin on a smooth note.’
In the meantime, the Niger State office of the scheme has taken off with the appointment of Mrs. Afiniki Dauda as the head and focal person and engagement of other staff to man the office.
It was learnt that the committee in charge of the programme in the state would kickstart its activities with the flag-off of the empowerment scheme next week.
Beneficiaries of the programme from the three senatorial zones of the state have been selected ahead of the official flag-off of the scheme by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
Confirming this to THISDAY in her office, Mrs. Afiniki Dauda who is also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Empowerment and Social Protection, assured all those concerned that they would receive ‘fair treatment’ from the committee.
Dauda said the committee was already looking into the number of applications received from the state for other aspects of the empowerment scheme, saying “very soon we will come out with details to the public.”
She said the World Bank had assisted the committee by providing the statistics of the “very poor and the vulnerable in the 25 local government areas of the state” but declined to give the details.
“We have a formidable team that will drive this programme in the state,” she said.