Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, has disclosed that his office did not handle funds while overseeing the National Social Investment Programme.
Osinbajo stated that funds were being procured by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning when he was the Chairman of the Steering Committee that oversaw the National Social Investment Office between 2016 and 2019.
The revelation by Osinbajo comes after an exclusive report by SaharaReporters that the National Assembly was concluding plans to probe the activities of NSIP under Osinbajo and Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to the President on the NSIP.
The probe, according to sources, was to divert attention from the series of corrupt activities uncovered under Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Umar Farouq.
Osinbajo stated that as testament to its far reaching impact on millions of beneficiaries, the Social Investment Programmes under his office was recognised and endorsed by several local and international bodies including the Africa Development Bank, World Bank and the World Economic Forum.
A statement from his office reads, “Osinbajo insisted since 2016 that a full-fledged ministry should undertake everything about financing the programme.
“Since its implementation in 2016 until October 2019, the SIPs was domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, with VP Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, as Chair of the Steering Committee that oversees the National Social Investment Office (NSIO).
“The NSIO provides standard delivery mechanisms, with objectivity, collaboration, synergy transparency, efficiency and pro-active monitoring in mind. To assure of close collaboration and impact, focal persons from each State were nominated by the Governors, to supervise the State’s activities in relation to each of the four programmes.
“The Office of the Vice President WAS NOT involved in financial transactions or the disbursement of funds for the SIPs.
“The Ministry of Budget and National Planning, was in charge of all matters regarding financing, budgeting, procurement and disbursement of funds allocated and released for the N-SIPs.”
Osinbajo added that the NSIO Steering Committee supervised the implementation of the SIPs under the OVP.
The steering committee comprises nine ministers including that of Finance; Education; Health; Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs; Labour and Productivity; Information; with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning as the Secretariat.
The committee meets regularly for updates, to review, advise, guide and approve the processes of the N-SIPs.