President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the N614 billion bailout offered to states was to assist them to address social menace like almajiri among other pressing needs.
This is even as he has declared that family is essential for the national attitudinal change needed for the country to develop.
He spoke at the Joint National Conference of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Future Assured Initiative on Repositioning the Muslim Family for National Development.
The President said only stable families can make meaningful contributions to a stable society.
This is even as his wife, Aisha Buhari has while regretting that the problem has never been the availability of laws but compliance, insisted that everything must be done to take the Almajiris off the street.
According to President Buhari, “Most of the challenges affecting the family are within the mandates and the jurisdictions of state governments. In compliance with constitutional stipulations and provisions, we gave bailout to them to assist them in discharging this obligations and statutory mandates. It is our expectations that state governments will rise up to these challenges and do their own part in this social degeneration.”
Buhari said the government would also put more effort in ensuring economic support, and empowering of family members for more stability.
“We have been conscious of the havoc poverty is wreaking on the family. We therefore believe that poverty alleviation is central to safeguarding the integrity of our families.
“Our administration introduced a number of economic empowerment and poverty alleviation schemes. Some of these directly impact on families while others have indirect effect on families through their multiplier effects.
“The first, and most robust programme, is the Social Investment Programme, which serves as a very broad framework for availing Nigerian families at the grassroots level different forms of economic support,’’ President Buhari added.
According to the President, many homes had benefitted from the Conditional Cash Transfer, while trader-moni and market-moni schemes have also been impactful.
“The school feeding programme has assisted immensely in supporting poor Nigerian families in getting their children enrolled and sustained in school,’’ he said.
On flagging-off of marriage counselling projects across the country, President Buhari noted that the search for national rebirth, efforts at fighting corruption, indiscipline and struggle for attitudinal change must all begin from the family unit.
“While we appreciate the significant role of the mass media and other public enlightenment channels and outfits in propagating and promoting positive values, we just have to acknowledge the fact that all these build, after all, upon the foundations that must have been laid down.
He applauded the future assured initiative for its work which he says will be replicated in all states of the country.
The wife of the President, Aisha vowed to take the almajiri off the streets.
Mrs. Buhari while regretting that the problem has never been the availability of laws but compliance, insisted that everything must be done to take the Almajiris off the street.
She declared that she is committed to doing more through Future Assured to combat social vices caused by destabilized families especially the Almajiri problem.
Through The Future Assured Initiative, she has been running marriage seminars for years across the country.
She said: “I have had repeated mediation on some social problems of our time; especially problems of marriage, divorce and parenting; I am therefore optimistic that this effort will yield positive result.
“Today, these problems have manifested as domestic and intimate violence, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, child abuse and even violent crimes.
“The root of our social problems may lie with the gradual collapse of the institution of marriage. Marriage is the institution responsible for building a family, through which the human race is bred; family is the smallest unit of any society. A broken society is therefore a reflection of broken families within the society.
“A successful marriage is a function of rules and guidelines as enshrined in the holy books. The Holy Qur’an has spoken abundantly on marriage; the books of Hadith have explained these in further detail. The problem is therefore not the availability of laws but it’s compliance.”
Earlier on, The Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, had asked President Buhari to ensure the resolutions met at the event are enforced by state governments.
He said: “There should be implementation of resolutions reached at this particular programme. We have always said we are not short of recommendations or resolutions at various conferences and fora but what we lack is implementation. We hardly implement what we have agreed to do.
“Mr. President as the commander in chief, as a retired general and I know you are not tired. I think you should give matching orders to governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to implement decisions reached at this conference and all our conferences, if not you have that big stick to use on any of the governor who refuses to do a,b,c,d on what you instruct them to do.
“I believe we must pass that stage of having these high level meetings, come out with excellent recommendations on how to solve problems and then go home and sleep. We must start solving our problems because nobody from any part of the world will come and solve the problem for us.
“No matter how big a governor is, he is not bigger than Nigeria, no matter how big an individual is he is, educated or powerful, he is not bigger than Nigeria. We should all know that is Nigeria first, we must solve our problems ourselves because we all know what the problems are.
“Issues of drugs, high rate of divorces amongst our people is a serious issue that concerns all of us. Why do we have high divorce rate, why do we have so many people not married these are the issues on top of the agenda of the First Lady must be looked into and addressed.”
The Minister of Women Affairs, has warned that the number of out of school children was is frightening, declaring “we are sitting on a time bomb.”
According to her 26 states in the country have domesticated the Child Rights Act while the 10 states yet to do so are all in the north, vowing to engage them one on one.
Tallen said: “This is a shame on all of us. We are a prayerful nation but lack godliness.
The ingredients for justice is peace and fairness. Those that vote for you during elections are women, we must address these issues once and for all.