The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has described the virement of funds from the Social Investment Programmes (SIP) budget by the National Assembly to fund the INEC 2019 Elections Budget as anti-masses and a vengeful move by the Bukola Saraki-led Senate.
The group in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke stated that National Assembly’s virement of funds from the Social Investment Budget reflected an anti-people posturing which is ironical with the role they are supposed to play as representatives of the people.
“The Social Investment funds are meant for improving the well-being, welfare and living standards of the poorest Nigerians; any Nigerian, especially one who is in position of leadership, that does not see the importance of these programmes and the need for adequate funding of them, should not be leading in the first place.
“The very existence of those in government is to see to the betterment of the lives of the everyday Nigerian people, especially the poorest in the society. The virement of funds from the Social Investment budget is a move against Nigeria’s poor population and shows how far some members of the National Assembly are from the people they are supposed to represent.”
The group noted that the Social Investment Programmes introduced by the Buhari administration is the most ambitious, yet the most successful social investment scheme Nigeria has ever seen. It went further to state that over 9 million children in public primary schools are being fed, with over 500,000 previously unemployed graduates now engaged on the N-Power scheme and almost a million traders having accessed collateral and interest free loans.
“Over 290,000 of the poorest households in Nigeria are receiving a social welfare package of 5,000 Naira monthly, which has improved their living standards and reflected in significant improvement in the well-being of the beneficiaries.”
The group noted that any individual or arm of government that attempts to trivialise the impact of the programmes is doing so selfishly and without comprehension of its importance.
“We are aware of reports that PDP’s Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has been heard to say that he would phase out the Social Investment Programmes. We are not surprised that a notorious rent-seeker elitist who has no regard for the poor is thinking this way.
“The old order where Nigeria worked for only a few elites who pocketed all our commonwealth is over, We are confident that the ordinary Nigerian would disgrace all who seek to jeopardise the interest of the masses at the polls.”