The Federal Government has begun the training of 5,000 independent monitors for the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) to supervise the activities in the programmes and beneficiaries across the country.
Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, at the inaugural ceremony on Thursday in Abuja said the NSIP was created by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.
The NSIP include N-POWER, National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), Conditional Cash Transfer Programme (CCT) and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
Farouq said the scopes of these programmes were large, with about 13 million citizens across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) benefiting from the intervention.
“Today we are commencing the training of 5,000 independent monitors that will monitor the programme at the community level.
“The Independent Monitors will be assigned to monitor programme beneficiaries within their locality in schools, households, and market clusters with the focus of ensuring that the primary objectives of these programmes are achieved.
“This training follows an intensive two-week workshop at the National level by the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee set up by the ministry to develop a Framework and Data Collection Tools for effective monitoring process,” she said.
According to her, while this is the initial training to get them acquainted with their schedule of duties, the ministry will ensure they continue to receive regular training and guidance for effective monitoring within the communities assigned to.
“You will be closely supervised by officials of the ministry and your activities will also be monitored by the ministry and other stakeholders at the state level.
“Please be informed that the ministry will not hesitate to take you off the Programme if you are found violating the terms of your engagement.
“We are also working with security agencies like the EFCC and the ICPC to monitor these programmes.
“If you are found engaging in any form of malpractice or fraud, you will be handed over to them for investigation and prosecution,” Farouq warned.
Speaking, Mrs Chinwendu Amba, the FCT Focal Person on NSIP said the programme had impacted positively on the lives of poor and vulnerable people in the country.
“This calls for a mechanism to monitor and evaluate the success and otherwise of the programme across the country,” she said.
Also, in her presentation, Hajiya Fatiya Askederin, the Technical Assistant to the Minister on NSIP said on NHGSFP monitoring, the monitors would monitor weekly, the quality, condition of the meal and how it is served.
“On the CCT, monitors will visit beneficiaries every two months to assess the impact of the programme.
“While for the GEEP, monitoring will be done quarterly but monthly for N-Power where beneficiaries will be monitored in their place of primary assignments,” Askederin said.
Ms Mercy Ikwuje, one of the trainees for FCT, who spoke with News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on the sideline of the inaugural event said the programme would help reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.
“I hope and pray that the next administration would continue with the programme because it is a very good initiative to create employment and impact positively on the lives of poor and vulnerable people in the country,” she said. (NAN)