The Presidency said on Tuesday that the Federal Government would soon propose a bill that would address issues relating to poverty alleviation in the country.
The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme, Maryam Uwais, stated this during an oversight visit by the joint National Assembly Committee on Poverty Alleviation.
She told the panel, jointly chaired by Senator Lawal Yahaya Gumau and Muhammad Ali Wudil, that the bill would dwell on how to sustain the achievements made so far.
Uwais said the Federal Government was working on the bill in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
She said, “We feel that we should have a very good team and the same kind of structure with the steering committee. We want to also ask for the state to come up with the same kind of structure. What we need to do is to make it attractive for the states to key into.
“We have come up with a draft bill that we are working on in-house before we come and engage the two chairmen. There are a lot of options that we are looking at, but we want to look at it first at the executive level before coming to you so that we can sustain the achievements,” she said.
She also told the panel that the Federal Government had over 700,000 people captured under beneficiaries of its programmes, adding that it sent money to only about 300,000.
“We have paid over N15m to women in Kwara State in the last three years. Other states have not started, but we are happy that few states are joining. Lagos State is already joining, because I was there yesterday (Monday).
“Right now, we are in 30 states in the school feeding programme. We are in about 56,000 schools in the country and we have received assistance from donors such as the World Bank.”
Wudil said the joint committee would go through the details of the aid received from the World Bank and other donors.
He said, “Your presentation was very wonderful, but we need to have this kind of updates; maybe after every three months, because we represent our people.
“Information is critical, and this is one of the best programmes by this government. But a lot of us may not be aware of what’s happening in our constituencies as far as this programme is concerned.
“When you talked about having a bill on poverty alleviation or whatever, I think you should look at it very well. But it can also come through a private member bill. If it is an executive bill, there is no problem.”
The joint committee had earlier said the oversight visit was an avenue for it to familiarise with the activities of the programme, its achievements since inception, as well as its challenges.
Gumau said they were at the head office of the programme to ensure that they work together with the social investment office towards the success of the programme.