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NSIP: Uwais’s claims, allegation spurious, scandalous – Reps

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Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Saturday reacted to the Special Adviser to President Muhamadu Buhari on Social Investments, Maryam Uwai’s comment against the lawmakers, saying it’s slanderous and unacceptable.

The lower Chamber insisted that its position on the implementation of the National Social Investment Program, the National Conditional Cash Transfer Programme was a good intention for the country.

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In a statement by the Spokesman of the 9th House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu which was made available to newsmen in Abuja stated that the insinuations that the 9th House of Representatives has sought to compromise the NSR and input the names of undeserving Nigerians as beneficiaries of the programs as incorrect by  Buhari’s Aide was an invective taken too far. push({});  

It said,  that insinuation in some media organisations that the 9th House labeled the NSIPs as a “failure and a scam”  are incorrect and untrue.

The statement reads in full: 

“Our attention has been drawn to the misleading and slanderous publications of Madam Maryam Uwais MFR and Sahara Reporters both published on April 8, 2020 regarding the implementation of the National Social Investment Programs (NSIPs), the National Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, including the development of the National Social Register (NSR). 

“The insinuations in the above mentioned publications that the 9th House of Representatives labeled the NSIPs as a failure and a scam are incorrect and untrue. 

“So also are the insinuations that the 9th House of Representatives has sought to compromise the NSR and input the names of undeserving Nigerians as beneficiaries of the programs. 

“The 9th House of Representatives under the leadership of the Speaker Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila acting upon complaints from Nigerians in 360 federal constituencies regarding the inadequate spread of the NSIPs, and also concerns that the NSR is outdated and does not reflect an accurate representation of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria, intervened through a cordial interaction with the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq with the sole aim of ensuring and enhancing the delivery of service as well as the equitable distribution of the programs to the Nigerians most in need of them during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Part of our concerns expressed at this meeting was the need to review and improve the outdated NSR as well as the methodology deployed in identifying the poor and vulnerable in the various communities in view of the complaints from several constituencies that they have not benefited from the programs. 

“An outcome of this meeting was an understanding per the Speaker’s proposition that a legislative framework is needed to maximize the efficiency of the NSIPs.

“We are aware that Madam Uwais has on certain occasions, including a TV interview on ChannelsTV’s Sunrise Daily programme, cited Section 14 of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act as providing an exemption by which the FG can refuse to reveal details of the NSIPs to the National Assembly. 

“This suggests a deliberate attempt by Madam Uwais to conceal information pertaining to the financial activities of NSIP from the elected representatives of Nigerians as we especially recall that she blatantly ignored a letter of enquiry from the House Committee on Public Account addressed to her in her capacity as Special Assistant to the President on NSIP dated August 6, 2019 with reference number HR/SCO5/52/XX/400 requesting a brief of the activities (including income and expenditure profile) of her office from the year 2014 to 2018.

“While stating categorically that the operations of the NSIP do not fall under the exemptions contemplated in Section 14 of the FOI Act, it is instructive to note that Sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution vests exclusive powers of oversight on the legislative arm of government which also applies to any and all forms of government intervention programs, including the NSIP which is a disbursement of the nation’s funds appropriated by the National Assembly in the first place. 

“The powers of the National Assembly to investigate or request any information from the executive are vested by the Constitution and are not subject to the stipulation of the FOI Act.

“We must remember that the doctrine of checks and balances is an essential element of our constitutional democracy and once it is discarded our democracy becomes wobbly. 

“Therefore, the 9th House of Representatives frowns at any fake news or publication that seeks to cast aspersions on its intentions and commitment to the people of Nigeria in its exercise of constitutional duties.

“As the People’s Parliament and in the spirit and letter of Sections 14, 88 and 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (the Constitution), our priority remains to employ all legislative interventions to ensure the welfare of Nigerians in the face of the Covid-19 crisis and the economic hardship it has wrought on the poor and vulnerable among us”, the statement concluded. 

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Presidency, National Assembly working In Tandem To Alleviate IDPs Plight – Hon. Jega

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Hon Muhammad Jega, member representing Aliero/Gwandu/Jega federal constituency
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The National Assembly is on the same page with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the Refugee Commission to enhance the condition of Internally Displaced Persons IDPs and refugees in the country.

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This is disclosed by Chairman House committee on IDPs, Hon Muhammad Jega, member representing Aliero/Gwandu/Jega federal constituency during his interactive session with some journalists in Abuja.

Hon Jega said that the National Assembly and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs are working in a harmonious relationship that is why they have recorded successes in their respective operations.

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He further said that , if the ministry and the commission were not attending to the IDPs and refugees accordingly, through their oversight function they would have sanctioned them, but insisted that they will continue to work harmoniously so that it will benefit the targetted audiences. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

“We are actually working hand in hand with the ministry and the commission because we have to be sure that what they are doing is what is required of them and what will bring succour to those in that category,’ He said.

Jega thereby reiterates the need for everybody including the government, private individuals and donor agencies to always reach out to the IDPs and the refugees when he said the issues are a very serious one, adding that these categories of persons are affected by natural disasters without prior knowledge so they need everyone to survive.

He stated that the IDPs need protection and assistance from the government so that they can have a means of livelihood, saying that his committee has been working round the clock to make sure that the government through the ministry and the commissions are there for them.

When Informavores inquire about his Constituency projects, he said that the National Assembly has been misconstrued by a lot of people – stressing that they are the closest arm of government to the people at the grassroots. According to him, most of the development within the rural areas were brought by them because they know what their people need and that is why they have always made it available to them.

He also opined that it is only what they (Lawmakers) take to their people that they are seeing.

“We are mostly misunderstood by a lot of persons out there, but we are the closest arm of government to the people at the grassroots, it is only what we take to them that they are mostly seeing because the government doesn’t even bring development to them except through the constituency projects.

“For instance, in my constituency, we’ve been able to build Classrooms, we provided water pumps to our farmers, solar light and we empowered a lot of them with various skills acquisition.

“We established a standard computer laboratory to teach our students especially now that there are computer-based exams. The most important thing is that we are getting feedback on what we’ve done to our people and it will encourage me to do more,” he said.

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Civil Society Organizations Canvases Legislative Framework For Almajiri System 

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Senate, Executive face-off threat to democracy—APC Chieftain
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A Civil Society Organizations, and stakeholders in Bauchi state have advocated for a legislative framework of the Almajiri system to the state assembly.
 
Lovelyn Agbor, team lead from the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) made the call when paid advocacy visit to the Speaker Abubakar Suleiman in Bauchi. 
 
She said the call was part of a  recommendation from a recent multi-stakeholders meeting of relevant stakeholders, Ministries, Agencies ,CSO, Malams and Media in Bauchi. adsbygoogle || []).push({});
 
“The meeting was to identify the challenges facing the almajiri system with the aim of proffering solutions to address the negative impact of Almajiri system on the Economy.
 
“We are calling for the enactment of a legislative framework to standardise the operationalisation of the Almajiri system in the state,” she said.
 
Agbor also called for budgetary provision in the annual budget  for the welfare of the Almajiri system instead of ad-hoc intervention by the government in the state.
 
The team also emphasised that funds and resources set aside for almajiri intervention should be given directly to Almajiri gatekeepers to avoid diversion.
 
Agbor urged philanthropists to be  involved in providing support for catering for the needs of the almajiri in the state.
 
Responding, Speaker Sulaiman commended efforts of the CSOs and Stakeholders for their concern on the plight of the Almajiri system in the state.
 
He assured that the house would accord priority to the well-being and  welfare of the citizens in the state.
 
The speaker also assures to give preference to any relevant Ministries or agencies that includes Almajiri system in it’s annual budget.

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FG Set To Commission Situation Room For Orphans and Vulnerable Children

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President Muhammadu Buhari hand on chin
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In a bid to support the orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria, the Federal government has concluded plans to commission the National Orphans and Vulnerable Children(OVC) Management Information System (NOMIS) Situation Room.

The situation room will house the National OVC Management Information System in Nigeria to enable in-flow of real-time data from States on the situation of OVC in country. 

A press release signed by the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen to commemorate the World Orphans Day World marked every 8th November, revealed that the government is currently partnering with USAID to review the National Priority Action on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (2021-2030) as the current one 2013-2020 will expire this year.

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“We are also working assiduously with our partners to update the number of orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria through a National Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) survey,” she said.  

 The miniyer explained further; “World Orphans Day has always been observed annually on the second Monday of November. As the World marks today 8th November, 2021 as World Orphans Day, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs also joins in this celebration in our bid to continue to support the wellbeing and protection of orphans in the country.  

“Orphans are an integral part of the Nigerian society and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that they are properly catered for and given a right to a family name. This is why under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, we are promoting legal fostering and adoption of these vulnerable children.

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I therefore call on all those interested to follow the proper channels through the States Ministries of Women Affairs as the first point to legalize the processes of the adoption.  

“No doubt the situation of our Orphans has been further worsened by the scourge of the COVID19 pandemic, but we will continue to work with well-meaning Nigerians, corporate organizations and development partners to improve their conditions.” 

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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