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COVID-19 Has Exposed APC-Led FG's SIP As Fraud – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed Federal Government's Social Intervention Programme (SIP) as a fraud.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed Federal Government's Social Intervention Programme (SIP) as a fraud.

It claimed that rather than deploy the programme to benefit the Nigerian people, the SIP was being used to fleece the country. In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party claimed that failure of the much-orchestrated COVID-19 social palliatives for Nigerians, contrary to claims by the APC-led administration, also validated allegations that the APC has been using ghost beneficiaries to siphon government's resources.

It described the scale of deception in the programme as alarming adding, “Not even a handful of Nigerians have acknowledged receiving any pittance from government despite claims by officials, of having paid billions of Naira as palliatives to individuals and poor households.”

The party urged Nigerians to note how officials of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration fraudulently sidestepped extant financial regulations and illegally resorted to cash disbursements directly by a minister, instead of using the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cash disbursement facility.

“Such was part of the design to use few unsuspecting Nigerians to circumvent the system, muddle up financial documentations, accountability processes and facilitate siphoning of huge chunks of the palliative fund.

“Such practice directly points to fraudulent diversion of funds by APC leaders, who have been using the same template of the discredited SIP, which had been exposed by Aisha Buhari as a fraud, when she revealed that the N500b SIP of the Buhari administration was not getting to the intended beneficiaries.

“More embarrassing is the duplicitous inclusion of the scandalous school feeding programme, as an expenditure line even when schools are closed following social distancing directives, an alarming development that points to the level of corruption in the APC administration,” the statement reads.

It challenged the APC to speak up in support of transparency and accountability in the social intervention programmes, particularly at this perilous time.

The PDP wondered why the APC leaders were falling over themselves and stampeding the National Assembly for anticipatory approval of N500b for yet to be itemised social palliative measures.

It restated its call on the National Assembly to properly scrutinise the N500b request, ensure clauses that guarantee that the money and all other social intervention funds get to ordinary Nigerians.

“Our party also restates its earlier call on the National Assembly to immediately investigate alleged diversion of funds in the recent disbursement of palliative money by a cabinet minister and recover same for Nigerians,” it added.