By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-MINISTER of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has called on the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation to expedite action on the passage of the National Social Investment Office Establishment Bill.
Farouq, according to a statement Tuesday evening by her Special Assistant on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze,”made the call on Tuesday in Abuja when members of the House Committee on poverty Alleviation paid a visit to the ministry.”
“In her remarks, Umar Farouq said that the passage of the bill into law will enable the effective management of the various programmes under it,”the statement said.
It quoted the minister as saying:”The NSIP has huge poverty reduction potentials and the expansion of the programme will contribute significantly to the realization of the National aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals.”
“The passage of the National Social Investment Office Establishment Bill into law will enable effective management of the programme, enhance its impact and ensure its sustainability, hence the need for expedited action”,she added.
It read further:”The minister thanked the Chairman of the committee and other honorable members for their cooperation and support to the ministry while hoping for stronger ties that will enable the expansion and improvement of NSIP.
“In her presentation, Umar Farouq however noted that the early utilization of capital releases was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic hence a greater percentage of the utilization was done after the return of mopped up funds in March and April. She also told the House Committee members that the approved recurrent expenditure of NSIP in the 2020 Budget was reduced by 31.6% as a result of several factors including the Covid-19 pandemic while the Ministry is yet to receive any release for the implementation of the Covid-19 Cash Transfer.
“Mr President has graciously approved the expansion of the NSIP and directed the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to make adequate provision for the expansion of the programme.
“The approval is for the expansion of N-Power beneficiaries from four hundred and fifty thousand to one million beneficiaries, disbursement of GEEP loans to additional one million beneficiaries, expansion of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme to target an additional five million children in conventional and non-
conventional schools under the Alternate School Programme and
the expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer to include an additional one million rural poor”.
“Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee Hon. Abdullahi Balarabe Salame said that the visit of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation was to evaluate the ministry’s budget performance last year and in the first quarter of this year.
“Our visit is to ensure the monitoring and evaluation of the year 2020 and the first quarter of the 2021 budget implementation. We are here to see how you implemented the 2020 budget and how far you have gone in the 2021 budget. This is to ensure that details are provided for us in accordance with the Appropriation Act”.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Management has five agencies and two programme offices under its supervision including the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), North East Development Commission and the National Commission for Persons with Disability while the programme offices are National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) and Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs).
“NSIP is Federal Government’s flagship programme implemented to advance its social inclusion and poverty reduction agenda.”