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Senate divided over implementation of social intervention scheme

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By Okechukwu Jombo

Senate was divided along party lines over the implementation of the social intervention scheme with Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawal, and Minority leader Senator Abiodun Olujimi tackling each other Today.

Lawal was reacting to the allegation by the Senate Minority Leader, Abiodun Olujumi, of partisan consideration in the running of the scheme in Ekiti state against the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

She alleged that her party faithful were being discriminated against, adding that the ruling APC was using the scheme for campaign.

But, in his reaction, Sen Ahmed said it was not possible to manipulate the scheme in favour of any party since it was programmed to accept any applicant irrespective of ones political leaning.

He said the scheme was headed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibnajo, whom he described as ” incorruptible, transparent and trusted by all.”

He further said that for the first time in the history of the country, the country now had a social welfare scheme that every Nigerian was being touched positively.

Citing the now defunct SURE-P which he said was targeted at Nigerians who were already well off, Sen Ahmed argued that the scheme which had already gulped the sum of N24 billion, had performed more than any social scheme in the past.

He alleged that in 1999 in one fell swoop N10 billion was released to alleviate poverty but that nothing concrete came out of it.

He said unlike the past, only N500 million was being used by this government to pay about 300, 000 graduates through N-Power and more number of Nigerians through conditional cash transfer.

He said he had no doubt that the Committee set up by the Senate to investigate the scheme would vindicate scheme.

Sen Ahmed who said he could understand that in election period any allegation against the government in power was possible, he added that some successes were too obvious to be “over looked.”

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