APC Backs Buhari’s Decision to Upgrade Social Investment Programmes to Full Ministry

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Lanre Issa Onilu

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to upgrade the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIPs) to a full-fledged ministry as a demonstration of the importance he attached to policies meant to lift poor Nigerians from poverty.

The National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, commended President Buhari for declaring during the Independence Day broadcast the upgrading of the N-SIPs to a full-fledged ministry status with the take-off of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

Issa-Onilu in a statement issued yesterday noted that the media had been awash recently with an imagined rift in the presidency that whittled down the role of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the current administration.

He explained that those behind this false news were desperately trying to use the government’s decisions on the N-SIPs, which had been under the office of the Vice President since it started in 2016, to support the conspiracy.

The party spokesperson claimed that the N-SIPs had impacted more than 12 million direct beneficiaries and over 30 million indirect beneficiaries since 2016.

He also said the N-SIPs has started gaining global recognition and endorsements from the African Development Bank (AfDB), World Bank, World Economic Forum, Action Aid (Nigeria), Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), among others on an account of its nationwide social impact.

Issa-Onilu queried the conspirators and their partisan sponsors on how they missed the import of the President’s decision to create a whole ministry to superintend the social investment programmes and humanitarian issues.

He queried: “How did they not realise that the President’s action is an indication of the importance he attaches to policies that are targeted at the poor?”

The party noted that warehousing all Social Investment Programmes, such as N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfers, National Home-Grown School Feeding and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programmes (GEEP) under a full-fledged ministry and appointing a substantive minister with the full complement of civil service structure was a bold statement of Buhari’s renewed commitment to pulling millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

Issa-Onilu noted: “We can understand Peoples Democratic Party’s incurable short-sightedness and its leaders’ disdain for the good of the ordinary Nigerians, but we urge a more rigorous and educated critic of government actions from those who have taken on the noble responsibility of reviewing public policies. This is a duty Nigerians expect of the media and the critics.”

He stated that the Vice President Osinbajo played a frontline role in the conceptualisation of these policies and programmes.