SIP impacting over 12.85 million Nigerians ― FG

THE Federal Government has said that over 12.85 million Nigerians are currently benefiting from the various Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) introduced by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, made this known on Friday at the State House Auditorium Abuja.

The event was to formally flag-off of a collaboration between the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to rid the social investment programmes of sharp practices.

A toll-free line was also launched to checkmate corruption and truancy in the school feeding and N-Power as well as cash transfer components of the scheme.

She said the collaboration became imperative to check those who want to sabotage the effort of the Federal Government in reducing extreme poverty in the country.

“I am pleased to say that all these programmes have recorded resounding successes, directly impacting the lives of over twelve million Nigerians, with several millions of indirect beneficiaries, whose living standards have significantly improved through the value of chain created by the various Social Protection Initiatives.

“On their individual level, there are over 548,000 graduate and non-graduate beneficiaries under the N-Power; while Home-Grown School Feeding Programme has over 9.8 million beneficiaries; Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP) being coordinated by the Bank of Industry, has over 2.1 million beneficiaries from TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni; and Conditional Cash Transfer initiative has almost 400,000 beneficiaries.”

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While noting that the poverty rate in Nigeria was almost suffocating, the Minister said, reports have it that over 120 million people would be living in extreme poverty in Nigeria by the year 2030.

“The National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) was set up in 2016 to coordinate and supervise all components of the social protection programme namely the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), N-Power and the National Cash Transfer Programme (NCTP).

“To achieve the task of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years in line with Mr President’s directive, we must as a ministry ensure that all our poverty alleviation strategies and programmes remained strengthened and devoid of infractions that could undermine ongoing efforts to empower our poor and vulnerable citizens.

“This is why this collaborative engagement between NSIO and ICPC is crucial as it aims to prevent and eliminate third party corruption in the National Social Investment Programme N-SIP,” she said

Also speaking, Special Adviser to the President on SIP, Mariam Uwais, said that over 6.1 million households have been captured on the National Social Register.

According to her, the ICPC will help the NSIO identify and punish those who engage in the fraud under the programmes.

Stressing that loopholes in the programmes in the Federal Capital Territory have been blocked, she said, however, that there were still challenges in other states.

The ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, warned that those running away with the SIP money will soon be guests at ICPC.

He said the Commission was poised to uncover the criminals with links in the NSIO system.

According to him, the new partnership will embark on massive campaigns to demystify what many Nigerians do not know about the programmes.

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