By Daniel Tyokua
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through the Office of the minister of state for FCT, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has begun mobilization of stakeholders on the significance of Social Investment Programme ,SIP,. in rural areas.
Special Adviser to the minister of state for FCT and focal person on Social Investment Programme (SIP), Mrs Chinwendu Eteyen-Amba, has called on the stakeholders to believe in the ability of government to alleviate poverty in the communities.
Mrs Eteyen-Amba during a one day interactive meeting on social investment and development goals with wives of the six Area Council chairmen, said the sensitization would assist in coordination and implementation of all SIP and liason with the Federal Government.
She explained that the interface with stakeholders was to bring them together and leverage from the opportunities SIP offered them.
“We have designed some programmes under the SIP so that we can reach to the communities and people in need, it will help scale down the activities of the SIP to the residents at different levels.
“This interaction will draw a roadmap that will help them in forming the action plan. Some of them are saying we should get to the grassroots, now we are doing a lot of sensitization programme on how people can benefit.
“Social Investment Programme in FCT is anchored on five units, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, State Operation coordinating Unit, State Cash Transfer unit and N-power programme” she said.
Since the beginning of Social Investment Programme (SIP) in the FCT over twenty thousand and fifteen (12,014) indigent residents have so far benefited
The focal person disclosed that, “based on the poverty ranking of the World Bank Abaji, Kwali and Kuje Area Councils are the first to benefit out of the Six Area Councils.
Some participants at the meeting advocated for proper sensitization and involvement of the stakeholders, especially those at in the rural areas.
The wife to one of the APC chieftains in Bwari Area Council, Mrs Lydia Shekwalo, said the programme will benefit people at the community level, if the proper channel is being followed. If such programme is to be carried out, Area Council chairmen’s wives should be involved so that they can talk to people especially women and youth on how to empower them as well as help them to benefit.
Ngozi Ogbo, Deputy Director Community and Chieftaincy department, Area Council Services Secretariat (ACSS), said people who are closer to those in the communities should be used to get the attention of traditional and religious leaders who can influence decisions.