FG approves expansion of National Social Investment Programmes

• Unveils plans for IDPs’ resettlement, disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, reintegration

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the expansion of all National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs) as part of ongoing efforts aimed at lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

The Minister of Humanitarian, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq who disclosed this during a ministerial press briefing held in Abuja, unveiled plans by the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to actualizing plans for resettlement and relocation of IDPs through disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) and social cohesion and peacebuilding.

Under the new NSIPs arrangement, the number of beneficiaries of N-Power programme was increased from 500,000 to 1 million; the number of Government Enterprise Empowerment Program (GEEP) beneficiaries was increased by 1 million, while the number of beneficiaries of Home Grown School Feeding programme was increased by 5 million.

According to her, “in championing social inclusion, deliberate efforts were made to capture vulnerable youths and groups which included women, people with special needs in the expansion of the National Social Register by one million households. Also, in the economic sustainability plan, we have over 1 million urban poor for national social register.

“As of June 2020, 4.41% of the total number of individuals captured in the National Social Register are recognized as persons with special needs. This comes to a total of 685,090 persons with special needs in the National Social Register. About 3.7 million households comprising of more than 15.5 million individuals have been captured on the National Social Register. Of that number, over 2.8 million are eligible for Conditional Cash Transfer. These numbers are spread across the 36 States and FCT.

“The numbers are further broken down to 7.6 million males and 7.9 million females. In line with Mr President’s directive, to expand the National Social Register, we have developed a strategy for targeting the urban poor. This register will use existing databases from the National Communication’s Commission (NCC), and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). Here we are collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy,” she explained.

On the implementation of the NSIP job creation unit/N-Power, she disclosed that no fewer than 544,949 graduates and non-graduates young unemployed Nigerians have been trained in the provision of volunteer service in critical socio-economic sectors such as education, health and agriculture, who are to be paid the sum of N30,000 and N10,000 monthly stipend for a period of two years.

She affirmed that some of the beneficiaries if Batch A and B of the N-Power programme have established businesses in their communities with no fewer than 109,823 beneficiaries of N-Power programme who have identified themselves as business owners, while over 5 million new applications received as at July 2020 for the Batch C of the N-Power programme.

In the same vein, a total of 748,684 Nigerians across the country have so far received the N20,000 two months Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme and created 28,817 savings groups.

On the repatriation of IDPs from various neighbouring countries, the minister said: “We are working with International Organisations for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in the repatriation of Nigerians from Niger, Cameroun and Chad. World Food Programme (WFP) supported us in designing and implementing the modified national home-grown school feeding programme during the Covid-19 lockdown. We are working with UNOCHA on a number of humanitarian coordination activities in the North East.”

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