Last Updated on July 23, 2021 by Ope Quadri
Bold yet respectful, fearless yet humble, firm yet not completely rigid, cool-headed yet exceptionally brilliant are some of the few words to describe Hajia Maryam Uwais, the Special Adviser to the President on the National Social Welfare Programme, who is celebrating her birthday today December 12.
- Husband: Muhammad Uwais,
- Profession: Lawyer
- Qualifications: LL.M; LL.B
- Birthday: December 12
Married to Nigeria’s former Chief Justice Muhammad Uwais, Maryam was an Abuja-based legal practitioner and activist until she was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as his Special Adviser for Social Protection Plan.
Maryam Uwais was an Independent Non-Executive Director of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc until November 30, 2015, when she formally tendered her resignation to enable her to take up a national assignment at the presidency.
Mrs. Maryam Uwais was appointed to the Board of Stanbic IBTC Holdings in November 2012 and lent her wealth of experience to the Board.
Maryam Uwais attended the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria where she studied law and graduated with an LL.B in 1980 and was called to the bar in 1981, after attending the Nigerian Law School, Lagos.
Her unique taste for education prompted her to go back in 1985 for her master’s, graduating with LL.M.
Mrs Uwais worked between 1980 to 1987 at the Kano State Ministry of Justice, and moved to the Nigerian Law Reform Commission where she worked between 1988 and 1989, before moving on to the Central Bank of Nigeria where she remained till 1998.
Mrs. Uwais is a respected lawyer with over 30 years experience, including serving as principal partner at Wali Uwais & Co, an Abuja-based law firm.
Responsibilities as Special Adviser to Buhari on SIP
As the Special Adviser to the President on National Social Welfare Programme, Maryam Uwais, together with her team is the driver of the social investment programme, the cardinal agenda of the APC-led government of Muhammadu Buhari.
She works at the office of Vice President Yemi Osibajo, where she is coordinating the administration’s social protection schemes, including a N60billion micro-credit scheme for artisans and market women.
In one of her interviews she said the Federal Government provides 6million eggs and 594 cows weekly under its Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) to school children.
The SIP programme has caught the attention of many African countries, one of them is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who came on a study tour a few months back.
HGSFP was feeding 9 million children in 26 states at the time of DRC tour to Nigeria. HGSFP as a way to nourish the mind of the young ones and encourage education.
“Presently, each child eats at least an egg in a day, adding up to 6.8million eggs being consumed weekly by children under the programme in just 26 states.”
“So, the poultry farmers are now doing so much to provide eggs for the schools because every meal is a balanced diet and every child must have at least one egg.
“We need to slaughter 594 cows every week for the pupils and 83 metric tonnes of fish is consumed weekly in just 26 states and more states are coming on board.” She said
“The cooks are employing people to wash and serve in classrooms, so imagine a child being fed and the cook is the mother while the father is a farmer that provides the foodstuff, ” she said.
Other programmes under her SIP coordination are:
- The Conditional Cash Transfer Programme which is giving out N5,000 monthly to 297,973 households in Nigeria.
- Tradermoni, where collateral-free loan of 10,000 Naira is given to petty traders to assist them in their daily husstle.
- The N-Power which has employed 500,000 youth graduates, making it the largest post-tertiary employment programme in Africa, where beneficiaries are paid a monthly stipend of N30,000 and deployed as volunteers under N-Teach, N-Health, and N-Agro.
Mrs Maryam Uwais was one of the brains behind the idea of disbursing N-Power beneficiaries’ monthly stipend to them directly without a third party. The idea is to cut embezzlement.
Even though some state governments in Nigeria made moves so that the monies would be paid through them, Uwais team maintained that direct payment would make the programme achieve its set objectives.
That it has achieved as many unemployed graduates before the N-Power (who are now beneficiaries) are self sufficient.
N-Power program recruitment is the fairest in the history of Nigeria.
Mrs. Maryam Uwais is a recipient of Nigeria’s national honours Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).
Instituted by the National Honors Act No. 5 of 1964, during the First Nigerian Republic, national honours are awarded to Nigerians who have rendered service to the benefit of the nation. Maryam Uwais is among Nigerians who wear the national honour cap.
At infomediang ,we wish the firm Mrs Maryam Uwais a very happy birthday and many more years as she continues to make more impact to her fatherland.