The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, on Friday disclosed that over 12.85 million Nigerians are presently benefiting from the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs).
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2016 introduced the SIPs to reduce poverty in the land.
The Minister spoke while flagging off National Social Investments Office (NSIO) – Independent Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission (ICPC) partnership on preventing corruption in the implementation of the National SIPs.
The partnership, she said, aligns with the vision of President Buhari’s administration to rid Nigeria of corruption and other forms of sharp practices.
The renewed partnership, she said, is a fight against people, who want to sabotage the effort of the Federal Government in its aim of reducing extreme poverty,
She said “I am pleased to say that all these programmes have recorded resounding successes, directly impacting the lives of over twelve million Nigerians, with several millions of indirect beneficiaries, whose living standards have significantly improved through the value of chain created by the various Social Protection Initiatives.
“On their individual level, there are over 548,000 graduate and non-graduate beneficiaries under the N-Power; while Home-Grown School Feeding Programme has over 9.8 million beneficiaries; Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP) being coordinated by the Bank of Industry, has over 2.1 million beneficiaries from TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni; and Conditional Cash Transfer initiative has almost 400,000 beneficiaries.”
Noting that the poverty rate in Nigeria is almost suffocating, she said, that it was reported that over 120 million people would be living in extreme poverty in Nigeria by the year 2030.
“The National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) was set up in 2016 to coordinate and supervise all components of the social protection programme namely the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), N-Power and the National Cash Transfer Programme (NCTP).
“To achieve the task of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years in line with Mr President’s directive, we must as a ministry ensure that all our poverty alleviation strategies and programmes remained strengthened and devoid of infractions that could undermine ongoing efforts to empower our poor and vulnerable citizens.
“This is why this collaborative engagement between NSIO and ICPC is crucial as it aims to prevent and eliminate third party corruption in the National Social Investment Programme N-SIP.” she said
The Special Adviser to the President on SIP, Mrs. Mariam Uwais, said that over 6.1 million households have been captured on the National Social Register.
According to her, the ICPC will help the NSIO get and punish those engaging in the fraud under the programmes.
Stressing that loopholes in the programmes in the Federal Capital Territory have been blocked, she said, there are still challenges in other states.
The ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said those running away with the SIP money will soon be guests at ICPC.
He said the ICPC will go further to uncover if the criminals have links with workers in the NSIO system.
According to him, the new partnership will embark on massive campaigns to demystify what many Nigerians do not know about the programmes.