A mild drama played out yesterday at the House of Representatives over Federal Government’s N500 billion social intervention fund, with lawmakers arguing along party lines.
While members elected under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) spoke against the motion entitled: “Urgent need for the framework and details of the N500 billion Naira social intervention fund” sponsored by Abubakar Chika (APC,Niger), those from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) argued in support of the motion.
Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila insisted it was unnecessary for the National Assembly to demand for the administrative framework of an intervention by the Executive, arguing that the 2016 Appropriations Bill serves as the legal framework of the intervention fund as it has been signed into law.
He urged that no one should politicise such a major intervention that would impact of the lives of Nigerians.
But Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, posited that lawmakers asking for explanations on how the Federal Government intends to execute the intervention should be “shown appreciation”, due to the huge sum involved and the projected outcomes of the programme.
But the debate on the motion took a different turn when Chairman on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin was shouted down at he stood to explain the position of his Committee on the fund as it was captured in the budget.
Despite shouts of “sit down”, “no”, Jibrin said that it would be wrong to politicise an intervention duly budgeted for.
Earlier, Adamu reminded the House that of programmes like the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, (SURE-P), that “failed woefully due to mismanagement and lack of strong institutional structure.”