Stakeholders call for efficient monitoring of N-SIP

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

#TrackNigeria: Stakeholders at a one-day conference have agreed that the implementation of the poverty alleviation scheme, under the National Social Investment Programme, (N-SIP) would be monitored by anti-corruption agencies as well as civil society organisations, CSO, across the country.

The resolution was reached at the conference with a theme: “Increasing Transparency and Participation in the Implementation of the Social Investment Programme” and organized by Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

HEDA Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju said the forum was aimed at
ensuring greater transparency and accountability in the disbursement
plans through citizenship participation in the monitoring process.

She expressed delight that hitches observed by beneficiaries in the past
conferences were promptly addressed by the N-SIP team.

Speakers at the conference included the Executive Secretary,
Presidential Advisory Council Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Sadiq
Isah Radda, Director General, (DG) National Orientation Agency (NOA),
Dr. Garba Abari, Deans, Faculties of Law and Social Sciences, University
of Maiduguri, Prof Yusuf Moud Yusuf and Prof D Gambo respectively.

Others were Borno State Coalition for Democracy and Progress, Mallam Mohammed Wuyo, the Chief Imam of Bornu State, Imam Mongunoma, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), representative, Rev Emmanuel,  office of the Gombe Social Investment Programme.

Others were the EFCC Born Zonal Office, Mr. Lawrence Iwodi, Borno State
NUJ Chairman, Mallam Bulawa Talba,  Borno State NLC Chairman, Mallam Babakura Maina, Borno State Ministry of Information representative, Alhaji Tahir Isiaku and a host of beneficiaries under the National Social Investment Programme, N-SIP.

Other participants at the conference were drawn from many North East
states including officials from various anti-graft agencies, civil
society and faith-based groups.

The N-SIP was put together by the Federal Government as a poverty
alleviation programme covering various social and investment
intervention schemes for the 36 states of the Federation.

Millions of poor and vulnerable people, including school children are
beneficiaries of the exercise funded with the recovered late General
Sani Abacha’s loot. Over $300 million have been recovered from the late
dictator under the current government.

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the President on N-SIP,
Mrs. Maryam Uwais, who was represented by Ms. Sola Afolayan, said as at September 10 this year, 1,349,517 poor households covering 5,483,531 individuals have been captured by the programme.

In the communique issued at the end of the conference, the participants
identified and recognized the National Social Investment Programme as a
commendable and ambitious effort of the Federal Government, which is
making tremendous impact in the quest to reduce poverty in the North
Eastern states and across the country.

Participants encouraged citizens, States and Local Government to embrace accountability and anti-corruption campaigns and not left for the Federal government alone but should rather be inclusive.

“There should be greater community participation in the processes of the
N-SIP in order for it to aid the feedback mechanism apart from its many
other associated advantages. Though, the amount given to the N-SIP
beneficiaries may appear small, the impact is immense and should be
expanded and sustained by both the Federal and States Governments”, the groups stated.

The participants commended the Federal Government’s school feeding
programme as helping in meeting the essentials of life of school
children, especially indigent and vulnerable children and families.

However, community leaders and school officials in some parts of the
country were fingered in observed shortcomings, which bother on
corruption and lack of transparency in the implementation and
supervision of the programmes.

“In order to deal with the problems of corruption identified in the
implementation of the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP), the
Federal Government should strengthen the School Monitoring Committee and design additional monitoring mechanisms to increase the level of
transparency and accountability while anti-corruption agencies should be actively involved in the implementation process for maximum output.”

The forum further urged beneficiaries of the N-SIP programmes to be
honourable and honest in the processes of their participation in the
projects.

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