13 million to benefit from Social Investment scheme, as FG trains 5,000 independent monitors
•Anti-graft agencies to prosecute erring officers - Minister
No fewer than 13 million Nigerians are to benefit from the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) across the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq disclosed this during the flag-off of 5,000 independent Monitors for the various segments of the NSIPs.
The Minister who declared the training programme open in Abuja expressed optimism that the process will strengthen the implementation of the National Social Investment Programme in Nigeria as well as provide data for evidence-based decision making.
She explained that the “scopes of these programmes are large with about 13 million citizens across 36 states and the FCT benefiting from the Federal Government intervention.
“Today, we are flagging off the training of 5,000 Independent Monitors who will monitor the programme at the community level. The Independent Monitors will be assigned to monitor programme beneficiaries within their locality in schools, households and market clusters with the focus of ensuring that the primary objectives of these programmes are achieved.
“While this is the initial training to get you acquainted with your schedule of duties, the Ministry will ensure that you continue to receive regular training and guidance for effective monitoring within the communities you are assigned. You will be closely supervised by officials of the Ministry and your activities will also be monitored by the Ministry and other stakeholders at the state level.”
The Minister, therefore, charged all the Independent Monitors to carry out their responsibility with utmost diligence and sincerity, adding that failure to adhere to the rules of engagement or any indulgence in irresponsible activities will be met with stiff penalties.
“Please be informed that the Ministry will not hesitate to take you off the programme if you are found violating the terms of your engagement.
“We are also working with security agents, EFCC and the ICPC to monitor these programmes. If you are found engaging in any form of malpractice or fraud, you will be handed over to them for investigation and prosecution.
“I, therefore, urge you to carry out this task with a sense of patriotism as we all work towards the vision of Mr President to lift 100 million Nigerians out of Poverty in the next 10 years.”
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Nura Alkali who was represented by the Director of Humanitarian Affairs, Alhaji Ali Grema tasked the Prospective Independent Monitors to shoulder the responsibility of monitoring the National Social Investment Programmes in their various communities with diligence.
“The social investment programme is a flagship programme of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and is meant to support the vulnerable citizens in the Society. I, therefore, employ you to pay attention and learn from the facilitators brought here to train you on the monitoring process and data collection tools you will use in monitoring these programmes.”
In a goodwill message, the FCT Director National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mrs Mary Tanko urged the Independent Monitors to shun practices capable of bringing the monitoring process to disrepute.
The State Focal Person, Mrs Chinwendu Eteyen-Amba thanked the Federal Government for the intervention programmes to assist the vulnerable especially the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme which she said has increased enrollment in primary schools.
“The children who got promoted from primary 3 to Primary 4 do not want to go to the next class because of the food. I implore the honourable Minister to please seek to extend the Programme to the senior primary school pupils and secondary school students to lure them to school. We have also recorded an influx in school enrollment and attendance
because of the school feeding Programme.”
According to the Organisers, the training was a follow up on an intensive two week-workshop and review at the national level by the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee set up by the Ministry to develop a framework and data collection tools for the effective monitoring process.
The selected independent monitors will be based at the community level and will conduct monitoring activities within their locality including schools, households and market clusters.
They are expected to monitor and report on the implementation of the Social investment Programmes at the State level on a regular basis including the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), N-Power, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme.
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