By Stephen Adeleye.
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD), said it had employed and trained 7,452 Independent Monitors to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the integrated National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP) across the country.
The Minister, FMHADMSD, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, disclosed this at inauguration of the training and onboarding of 3000 Stream 2 Independent Monitors of the N-SIP on Friday in Lokoja.
The Minister, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Monitoring and Evaluation, Mrs Bilikisu Dauda-Damisa, said the training and onboarding of Stream 2 Independent Monitors was flagged off June 9, 2022, in Abuja.
She noted that the Stream l, had 4,452 Independent Monitors trained and enrolled in February and March 2021, while Stream ll had 3000, totaling 7, 452 Independent monitors across the country.
Umar-Farouq added that the Ministry had provided working tools in the form of Tablets for them to carry out their monitoring activities on the field.
She said the NSIP was created by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 with the mandate of lifting citizens out of poverty through a number of Social Interventions.
According to her, the NSIP include: Job Creation – NPOWER, National Home-Grown School Feeding (NHGSFP), Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
She said that since NSIP commenced in 2016, over one million youths had been employed under Npower, two million beneficiaries under CCT, 10 million pupils under HGSFP and 230,000 under the GEEP intervention programmes.
She said the Independent Monitors are responsible for monitoring the NSIPs in their various communities in schools, households, and market clusters with the focus of ensuring that its primary objectives were achieved.
”Monitors are one of the most important components of the NSIP and the Ministry lays special emphasis on ensuring its programmes are closely monitored.
”We have monitors in every local government area, where the NSIPs are being implemented,” she said.
She urged the independent monitors to work hand in hand with the state NSIP team, and cautioned them against intimidation or harassment of beneficiaries.
”Any Independent Monitor found intimidating or harassing a beneficiary will be taken off the programme.
”Be informed that we have officials of the EFCC and DSS working with us on this programme, and those found culpable will be handed over to relevant authorities,” she said.
The minister urged the participants to use the resources and working tools given to them judiciously.
Earlier, the state’s Focal Person of N-SIP, Mr Suleiman Onyekehi, said the social intervention programmes had achieved a tremendous success in alleviating poverty in the state.
Onyekehi, who doubles as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, said 177,000 out of the total 258,000 enrolled pupils from Primary 1 to 3, were currently being fed, and over 3000 cooks recruited in the state.
He appealed to the federal government for improvement in budgetary allocation of N70 per child, saying inflation rate had rendered the N70 inadequate to feed a child.
He added that over 74,000 CCT beneficiaries currently receiving N10,000 each bi-monthly; over 26,000 Npower beneficiaries of both Batch C, Stream 1 & 2; and 7,000 shortlisted for disbursement under GEEP across the state.
He noted Kogi now had about 100 independent monitors spread across the state with critical roles to play, urging them to ensure total collaboration with the state NSIP team.
He disclosed that the State Government had recently disengaged over 100 cooks who defaulted in one way or the other against the national rules and guidelines.
Onyekehi added that the process for their replacement were currently ongoing, saying many more cooks would be recruited to cater for the enrolled 258,000 pupils across the state.
He assured that the Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, operated open governance accessible to all, and committed to transparency and accountability.
On his part, the state Coordinator of the Independent Monitors, Adam Imam, commended the federal government for the initiative in using independent monitors for N-SIP activities which he said, had ensured effective monitoring and followups.
Two participants, Khadijat Daniya in Okene, and Shuaibu Mohammed in Kogi Local Government Areas, thanked the federal government for the opportunity, and promised to deliver on the assignment.
NAN reports that the participants, at the end of the training received engagement letters and Tablets as working tools for monitoring the programme.