N-Power, Tradermoni, Other Failed Buhari Programmes Tinubu Wants To Continue
Although the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will officially come to an end in a few days, some of the social intervention programs of the president are set to outlive his government as the incoming administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu is set to continue with them, according to his campaign manifesto.
The social intervention programmes that the Tinubu administration plans to sustain include the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT); Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP); Homegrown School Feeding (HGSF); and the N-Power initiative, as contained in the manifesto of the APC for the February 25 presidential election.
In Nigeria, it is commonplace for politicians of the same party to – in the name of continuity – sustain the policies of their predecessors even when such policies have abysmally failed.
The socialist programmes of the Buhari government have fallen short of expectations and received critical reviews over issues bordering on poor management, funds misappropriation and lack of proper funding. THE WHISTLER examines some of them and their performance under the Buhari administration.
Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT)
The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program aims to alleviate poverty and promote social inclusion among vulnerable groups in the country. The programme provides direct cash transfers to the poorest and most vulnerable households in Nigeria, with the aim of improving their standard of living, enhancing human capital development, and fostering economic empowerment. It targets households living below the national poverty line, typically those in rural areas.
According to the World Bank, evidence for longer-term transformative change among beneficiaries of the scheme is lacking.
The Buhari government claims 8 million individuals are currently benefiting under the conditional cash transfer programme (CCT) although CSOs have alleged fraud in the programme.
The CSOs questioned the method adopted by the federal government in the implementation of the interventionist scheme.
Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP)
The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP) focuses on providing affordable microcredit loans to individuals and businesses that typically lack access to formal financial institutions. The program offers three different loan products: TraderMoni, MarketMoni, and FarmerMoni, tailored to specific sectors and target groups.
The federal government’s initiative which has disbursed more than N12 billion in loans to a total of 1.2 million people may have so far not contributed to reducing the 36.6 million Nigerians who are financially excluded.
An investigation by BusinessDay revealed that the beneficiaries of the loans had no intention to operate their bank accounts after they withdrew the N10,000 deposits.
The Market Traders Association of Nigeria also said the programme has failed to reach the grassroots
It said many traders across Nigeria did not benefit from the soft loans meant for traders despite the disbursement of over N36.6bn.
Homegrown School Feeding (HGSF)
The Homegrown School Feeding (HGSF) was designed to provide free meals to schoolchildren in public primary schools across Nigeria.
However, the scheme has failed to achieve its set objectives, given the high rate of out-of-school children in the country and complaints from both pupils and contractors handling it.
It was reported that many schools in rural and swampy areas were excluded from the programme because of the Federal Government officers’ inability to access them.
The programme has also been marred with poor food quality and other funding problems.
The N-Power program is one of the key components of the National Social Investment Program (NSIP) of the Buhari administration, it aims to address youth unemployment by providing job opportunities, skills development, and empowerment initiatives.
While the federal government is responsible for the monthly stipends for beneficiaries, state governments were to verify selected unemployed graduates and deploy them to their places of primary assignment.
Volunteer graduates are expected to serve in the communities where they are residents.
However, the federal government has been inconsistent with funding the programme as many beneficiaries complain of not receiving their stipends as and when due.
Recently, popular musician, Oladapo Oyebanji, famously known as D’banj was arrested by ICPC after he was accused of diverting hundreds of millions of naira earmarked by the Nigerian government for the N-Power project.