Aisha Buhari criticizes her husband’s N500billion Social Investment Programme; says “it failed woefully”

Aisha Buhari, President Muhammadu Buhari's Wife

Mrs. Aisha Buhari, the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is well known for her very frank talk, has again criticized the N500billion Social Investment Programme of her husband’s administration.

She noted that the SIP was part of 2015 campaigns her husband had promised Nigerians. She said; they promised to give out N10,000, feed pupils in primary schools and give N5,000 to the poorest of the poor.”

President Buhari’s wife added that huge amount was budgeted for the programme, but there’s nothing to show that people benefitted from it.

She talked about a 74-year-old trader who she interviewed in Kano. He told her his capital was between N3,000 and N4,000. Yet she campaigned alongside her husband who was the candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015 that such people would get N5,000 monthly.

This is not the first time Mrs. Buhari was speaking against certain things in her husband’s government. She had in the past repeatedly criticized certain things in her husband’s government.

During an interview on BBC in 2016, she said that she may not support her husband’s re-election if things continue the way it is.

Aisha had alleged that her husband does not even know 45 out of 50 of the people he appointed to work with him.

“The president does not know 45 out of 50, for example, of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years,” she said in 2016.

She also revealed in December 2018 that two powerful people had hijacked her husband’s administration and frustrating his efforts.

She further said that those who were supposed to fight against these two persons go to them at night to beg for favour instead.

This time around Mrs. Aisha condemned the way her husband’s government handled the N500billion Social Investment Programme.

According to her, the programme failed woefully in the north.

She cited Adamawa State, her home-state, as one of the states where the programme failed.

Aisha revealed that one of Buhari’s aides on the Social Investment had told her that 30,000 women from her home-state would get N10,000 each from the programme.  She however expressed sadness that after four years, there is no evidence to show.

“I met Barrister, one of the President’s aides on SIP, once and he promised me that for my state, we should get 30,000 women to be given N10,000. Up till now, I haven’t heard from him,” she said at the Presidential Villa while speaking on Saturday in Abuja during an interactive session she organized for women.

“I don’t want to raise the alarm that my state does not benefit from it, where the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, came from, I kept quiet because I don’t want people to say that I talk too much,” she added.

According to her, in her state, Adamawa, only one Local Government Area out of 22 benefited.

She also noted that the progamme failed in Kano State despite the fact that the Mrs. Maryam Uwais, a Senior Special Assistant to Buhari on Social Investment, who is from Kano State is directly in-charge of the implementation.

“The SSA to the President on Social Investment is a lady from Kano and I am sure that my husband decided to put somebody from Kano because of the population and political impact it made. I have never asked how the money is being used or is being given out.

“Recently, I saw a 74-year-old man selling petty things in Kano, I asked him how much is his capital, he told me between N3,000 and N4,000. Don’t forget that we have campaigned to give the poorest of the poor N5,000 every month.

The president’s wife who expressed disappointment with the way the programme was implemented added that she does not know where the social investment is.

“So, I don’t know where is the social investment. Maybe, it worked out in some states. In my own state, only a local government benefited out of the 22. I didn’t ask what happened and I don’t want to know, but it failed woefully in Kano, it’s not a good sign and it’s not a good thing.

Mrs. Aisha said that she expected a different implementation of the programme in the north because of the cultural thing in the north. She noted that most women in the north do not belong to any market associations; they do business from their homes.

“We have a lot of women that do business locally due to the cultural thing in the North, they are at home doing their business. Some are millionaires, some have thousands of naira, they need the assistance but they do not get it. Most northern women do not belong to any market association.

“I was expecting the N500bn to be utilised in different methods in the North for the aim to be achieved. I don’t know the method they used, but most of the northern states do not get it. My state does not get it.

“It worked out well in a situation whereby they have market associations but I was thinking different methods should be used in the North”, she said.

The outspoken Aisha further asked the women who attended the event if their states benefited from the programme.

“How many of you get it in your state? My state did not benefit from it.”

The women collaborated her position, saying that they did not benefit anything since the programme started.

She also rebuked the $16million counterpart fund released by her husband’s government for the procurement of mosquito nets, saying that the amount was huge enough to fumigate mosquito in Nigeria.

“I have heard about mosquito nets, Nigeria paid its counterpart fund, $16m. I asked them to give my own share of the net to send it to my village people. I didn’t get it.

“They have spent $16m in buying mosquito nets, I did not get it, maybe some people have got it. But I feel that, that’s my personal opinion, $16m is enough to fumigate mosquitoes in Nigeria. That’s my opinion.”

Speaking about the anti-drug committee chaired by Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), she said that the N12billion released by the president should be monitored as minister are leaving office after the May 29, 2019 hand-over.

“Over N12bn has been released by the President  to take care of trauma cases across the country. Can you please monitor the money? The ministers are going very soon and the money is being released,” she said.



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