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*Partners EFCC, ICPC, others to probe compliance of NSIP programmes in states

By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA

THE federal government has said over 2 million households in the country were at the moment benefitting from its conditional cash transfer programme.

The government also said over 20 million persons were indirect beneficiaries of the programme in the 2 million households.

This came as it began partnership with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC,the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission,ICPC and other relevant agencies to probe compliance level of the National Social Investment Programme,NSIP in states of the federation.

The National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programmes, NSIP, Dr. Umar Buba Bindir, speaking, Tuesday,at the stakeholders’ meeting on state compliance check exercise of NSIP in Abuja, said:”As we speak, we are now advancing cash transfer to two million households, these are houses of not individuals, so if you are approximately putting 10 people per household,you are talking about probably like 20 million or so people that we are handling.”

Bandir said the government was spending between N12 billion to N15 billion monthly.

“When you look at N-Power,we have a bill of possibly between N12 billion to 15 billion every month. And you can estimate that we have 510,000 now ongoing and we have the batch c for 490,000 coming on,so when you multiply the number of the graduates by N30,000 per month, you will get the figure,”he said.

He said government was injecting N12 billion and N14 billion every month in feeding school children.

Hear him:”If you look at the school feeding,you will see that we are feeding between nine to ten million children nationwide and each child on a schooling day is fed with N70 per meal,so again,when you do the arithmetic,you get something maybe between N12 billion and N14 billion every month in feeding these children during school every month.

“But the finances injected in summary,into the National Social Investment Programme,the recurrent alone is over N300 billion. That is not enough,that is less than possibly what is required, gauging against the number of poor and vulnerable we have in this country.

Açcording to him,”We are beginning to see the multiply effects, people who have gotten credit and are now hiring one or more people, therefore,the employment generation is improving. The graduates,some of them are exiting and establishing their businesses.

The Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, speaking at the event, explained that government had begun partnership with relevant agencies in carrying out the compliance check of the implementation guidelines “of all our programmes and to develop a standard and effective compliance check structure for the various NSIP assignments.”

The Permanent Secretary,who was represented by the Director, Special Needs, Mrs Nkechi Onwukwe, explained that,”Our primary goal is to meet the needs of the people who need a helping hand from Government to restore hope, provide support and succor, as well as an enabling environment for recovery, rehabilitation and social inclusion, while ensuring their human dignity is upheld at all times.”

The creation of the ministry,he explained, “was necessitated by the compelling need to harmonize, synergize, institutionalize, as well as provide coordination of all government’s humanitarian and social interventions.”

This is in line with the vision of Mr. President to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.”

“The National Social Investment Programme, a social investment initiative aimed at tackling poverty across the country was launched, targeting “the poorest of the poor and the socially excluded members of the society.”

Throwing more light on the essence of the event,he said:”The activities of the Mmnistry constantly impact on the well-being of the indigent citizens and contributes to the socio-economic development of the country and in order for the ministry to effectively provide the desired and much needed coordination and leadership it was conceived to provide, it must have an effective and consistent means of appraising its activities.”

Sani-Gwarzo explained that since inception,the ministry has so far “achieved a lot in the area of the provision and effective coordination of humanitarian interventions in keeping with our mandate. “

“We have also been able to provide coordination through cooperation and partnerships with relevant government MDA’s, development partners, UN agencies and other strategic partners.

“This is all in a bid to ensure sustained and expanded social protection programmes, prompt emergency response services, and appropriately targeted humanitarian interventions,”he said.

Noting that,“The National Social Investment Programme,NSIP is the biggest social protection and poverty eradication programme ever put in place by any government in Nigeria and one of the biggest in Africa”,he explained that:”it was established by President Buhari in 2016 to address immediate and long-term socio-economic imbalances and inequalities, alleviate poverty, and stimulate accelerated economic growth.”

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