By Joseph Erunke – Abuja
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, Thursday, assured Nigerians that the selection process in the N-Power Batch C will be transparent.
This was as she said the government was working out modalities with a view to integrating beneficiaries of the batches A and B exited in June and July respectively.
The minister, who spoke at the interactive forum with state focal persons for the Social Investment Programmes held in Abuja, said she has since given approval for the payment of stipends for the exited beneficiaries of batches A and B up to the month of June 2020 including that of the independent monitors.
She said:”As we renew our commitment to the service of humanity, I will like to seize this opportunity to once again state that we have successfully exited Batch A and B of the N-Power beneficiaries in June and July respectively and we are still working towards ensuring a transition plan that will further engage or absorb them into other programmes.
“We have also received over 5 million applications from proposed N-Power Batch C and we are currently in the process of selecting the qualified beneficiaries coming into the programme.
“I assure all the applicants and Nigerians that the selection process will be transparent.
“Furthermore, I wish to reiterate that I have given approval for the payment of stipends for the exited beneficiaries of batches A and B up to the month of June 2020 including that of the independent monitors.”
According to Farouq, “Also, the final payment of stipend for Batch B is almost ready for transmission to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation for final checks and payment.”
” I, therefore, appeal for patience and understanding from beneficiaries omitted for payment in previous months and those in batch B who are to get their final payment,” she added.
While thanking focal SIP’s focal persons for what they are doing, the minister said she was” confident that together the Federal and State Governments can change the narrative for people of concern in our midst by not just showing up but showing up fast with relief and support when disasters occur and more importantly providing durable solutions for all persons of concern.”
Farouq, while explaining that,”This program was intentionally designed to bring the SIP focal persons into the weeklong activities of the first anniversary of the ministry”, further explained that “the focal persons are appointed by the state governors to oversee the Social Investment Programmes of the Federal Government namely, N -Power, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (Geep), Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP). ”
She spoke further: “While you are appointed by the State governors and are directly answerable to them, you work closely with the ministry and serve as liaison officers through which details, processes, and information regarding the programmes are passed and managed.
“You are therefore critical to the implementation and success of the programmes.
“We, therefore, deemed it necessary to specially invite you as the field persons implementing the programs at the grassroots level. This presents us with the opportunity to interact and chart a way forward for the programmes. ”
According to her,”This event is therefore put together to appreciate the efforts of each one of you. I am aware of the sacrifices and commitment you put in to ensure the smooth implementation of the different programmes and I commend your efforts.”
“There is no doubt that the Social Investment Programmes are critical components of the present Administration’s activities and are vehicles through which His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari‘s vision of lifting 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years will be achieved,” she said.
She explained that “These programmes are also very important to the fulfillment of the vision and mandate of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development.”
” The Ministry by its mandate is positioned to cater to the needs of those affected by disasters, humanitarian crisis, social challenges, and all people of concern who are often at the bottom of the economic and social pyramid,” she added.
The minister spoke further: “Since my assumption of office, I have remained focused on ensuring the sustainability and improvement of the programmes bearing in mind the high impact value they have to teem Nigerians whose lives have been significantly disrupted as a result of the present humanitarian and economic situation in the country.
“It is against this background that I urge every one of you to continue to give in your best to ensure the lives of those we are called to serve are made better.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that each one of the vulnerable persons is not mere numbers or statistics but real people with dreams, hopes, aspirations and a desire to live decent lives in peace and safety.
“Sadly, due to no fault of theirs, many have become victims of disasters and humanitarian crisis leaving them at the mercy of others for the basic requirements to live dignified lives.”
She told the state focal persons,”I am aware that some of you have expressed a desire for more robust communication and engagements between the Ministry and the States.”
” I have taken note of this and assure you that the Ministry remains open to sharing and discussing with you with a view to improving on our service delivery and impact of the programe.
“It is to this end that I held a meeting with you last year and have given audience to your representatives on different occasions to discuss matters affecting programmes with a view to sharing ideas and developing blueprints that will improve the quality of all the programmes.
“I am looking forward to the afternoon session which will provide a one-on-one review of the programme implementation, challenges, and way forward,” she said.
She thanked them for what she called their “support during the Government’s COVID 19 response which leveraged the structure of the social investment programs to support the implementation of the presidential directive related to Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programmes, the National Home-Grown School Feeding Program and the Conditional Cash Transfer. ”
“Today’s meeting is a demonstration of the Ministry’s consideration of you as important stakeholders that can contribute to the success of the Ministry in delivering social investments.
“May i appreciate the support and buy-in of the Executive Governors and my colleague the Honourable Minister of the FCT towards the successful implementation of these programmes in your States and the FCT. I solicit your continued support for the improvement and expansion of the social investment programmes.
“While we have made considerable progress a lot more needs to be done to support poor and vulnerable Nigerians. We will forge ahead as we put in place humanitarian policies and provide effective coordination of National and International humanitarian interventions.
“As we continue to ensure strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response, I am optimistic that with your support, we can and will make a difference in the lives of poor and socially excluded Nigerians and change the humanitarian landscape in Nigeria,” she said.