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Gbajabiamila says House to give legal backing to Social Investment Programme

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says the House will provide strong legislation and codify the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs).

He said the programmes are now subjected to whims and caprices of some few people in charge.

Gbajabiamila was quoted in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi while speaking at a web interactive session (webinar) organized by the Emmanuel Chapel on Friday.

He said the House would soon introduce a bill that would codify government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) to give it legal backing.

“As leaders, we must respond like we are at war. Lives have been disrupted. Talking about social security, we have before now and even till now that is akin to that in Nigeria today is Social Investment Programme (SIP) where we have the N-Power, Moni Trader, the Conditional Cash Transfer, the School Feeding Programme and a wide variety of other programs but unfortunately, they have not been codified.

“So, basically these are left to the whims and caprices of whoever is in charge to determine who gets what. So, it’s been something that’s not statutory, it’s not codified, budgeted for but again it depends on who’s handling it at the appointed time.

“What the House is doing now, and in the next couple of weeks, we will be introducing a robust codification and sanction of the SIP in Nigeria that will take care of the poor and the vulnerable. That’s the standard, it’s for the poor and the vulnerable, it would codify and define who is poor and who is vulnerable and the geographical spread would be determined by law,” he said.

The Speaker said the introduction and passage of the first Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill and the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, as well as the second Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill which is about to be introduced, were all meant to successfully steer the country out of troubled waters that might follow the pandemic.

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