By Alfred Amadi….
President Muhammad Buhari on the 21st of August 2019 inaugurated the pnew Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, a designed structure of the Next Level agenda.
This initiative was targeted at ensuring a sustainable living for citizens in Nigeria.
As part of Mr President’s major concerns in this second term, he has carefully appointed a personality of tested and credible record to man the affairs of the ministry; Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq.
Incidentally, before the creation of this new Ministry, the Social Investment Program was domiciled under the office of the Vice President (Prof. Yemi Osibanjo) and was headed by Mrs Maryam Uwais. However, with the creation of this new Ministry, the president had relinquished all the affairs of N-SIP to the new ministry for institutionalization and sustainability.
It would appear that the development has since been raising some sense of unrest, as personalities have been swapped; some dropped, others given new appointments and responsibilities.
With the creation of the Ministry, the President moved the Social Investment Programme from under the Vice President’s office to the Ministry.
Perhaps due to the apparent initial resistance and confusion of Mr President’s directive, he doubled down by making a solemn proclamation in his Inaugural speech articulating his decision to house the Social Investment Programme directly under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
For onlookers, the impression would be that since the creation of FMHDSD, Mrs Uwais and some of the team surrounding her may have been thwarting all efforts to establish a peaceful transition of N-SIP programs under the supervision of Hajiya Umar Farouq.
Sources claim that due to her political quest, she has allegedly refused to accept Mr President’s directive to work under Hajiya Farouq, which they say, may have created some levels on disharmony within the Ministry.
Hajiya Farouq, in her new appointment as the minister, has endeavoured to establish a welcoming platform to create a smooth relationship with all existing personalities meant to work along with her. On one such occasion, the Minister had earlier had a meeting with the reappointed special adviser to the president on N-SIP, Mrs Uwais. But there are indications that she may not be too disposed towards the minister’s coordination to establish an understanding with the four programme structure under NSIP, (N-power, CCT, GEEP, HGSF).
A case in point was when the Minister called for a meeting on the 16th of December 2019 to have a better understanding on their reports, but the HGSF head was absent, which could be regarded as insubordination.
Also, on the 21st of December 2019 the Minister invited all Focal Heads supervising the programs at the states levels for briefings on the current activities of the programs as well as their challenges and plans for effective implementation.
Notwithstanding, a substantive permanent secretary was appointed to the ministry in the person of Mr Tijjani Idris Umar, to help ensure a satisfactory transparency of the affairs of the ministry.
His delegation to the ministry will help make a more accessible report to the presidency for a clear fulfillment of the Next Level agenda.
Unknown to them, those within the same government making the minister’s job difficult are effectively waging war on Mr President since this is the structure he created.
There are rumors, that a group within is not comfortable with the appointment of the new minister, and that this group has a strong side alliance with the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
However, as some of their actions continue to raise questions, it seems the adage of “keep your friends close and enemies closer” could be the ideology of the president, who has opted to live and work with these individuals, rather than give them the boot.
The question to ask, is, why would they be unhappy with the new appointment of a substantive minister, to effectively cocordinate Mr Preaident’s agenda for the citizens, and yet claim to work in government’s favour. It was President Buhari that designed the Social investment Program in the first place! It was President Buhari that set up the Ministry! It was again Mr President that moved the program from the VP’s office and put it under the Ministry!
If they have a problem with this development, then their resistance is against Mr President not the Minister. Whoever is trying to jeopardize the Ministry’s efforts, is jeopardizing a sensitive and vital aspect of the Next Level Agenda, which is effectively jeopardizing the Presidents efforts!
If anyone is unable to honor the wish of Mr President, then maybe they need to take the honourable step, by RESIGNING with immediate effect so that the program can go on smoothly and on course. Its unfortunate that those within the government choose to fight the agenda of President Buhari from which they have benefitted all along. A benefit many of them neither earned nor deserved at that very start of his Presidency in 2015!
Mr Amadi, wrote in from Maitama, Abuja