The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says it has embarked on a 14-day training of Independent Monitors (IMs) in the South-East and South-South zones of the country.
According to the minister, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq in a statement by her media aide, Mrs Nneka Anibeze, the training is to ensure effective delivery of the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in the zones.
Farouq said the training became necessary because of the complaints associated with the implementation of the programme.
Speaking during the inauguration of the IMs in Enugu State where at least 93 of them commenced training, Farouq said for an effective implementation of the programme, there should be monitoring and evaluation.
The minister who was represented by Mr Charles Anaelo, a deputy director in the ministry called on the IMs to ensure effective service delivery to the beneficiaries of the programme, adding that they should live above board.
“A safeguard is put in place that even the monitors are also being monitored. Any sharp or corrupt practices by any monitor, such a person would be handed to the DSS, EFCC or ICPC for prosecution,” she said.
Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who was represented by Mr Innocent Ogbonna, the state’s NSIP focal person and Mr Isaac Onukwuba, the Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA) in the state thanked President Buhari and the minister for the initiative.
They urged the IMs to be diligent in their work and also called on the beneficiaries to hold the IMs responsible for any poor service delivery.
The 93 IMs were drawn from the 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
In Ebonyi, not fewer than 53 IMs were trained to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of the social investment programme.
Farouq, through Anaelo said, transparency and accountability remained the watchword of the Federal Government.
“Hence the need for more commitment to actualise the vision of President Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Awka, Anambra, at least 150 IMs commenced similar training.
Farouq who was represented by Mr Ralph Obi, the Director of Planning Research and Statistics in the ministry, urged the IMs to carry out their responsibilities with utmost diligence and sincerity.
She added that the ministry would not hesitate to hand over any of the IMs found wanting to the security agencies such as the DSS, EFCC, and ICPC.
The minister said the IMs in the state were carefully selected from the private sector.
In Calabar, Cross River, Farouq, represented by her Special Adviser on Administration, Mr Kingsley Ngene, said the programme had been running for some years now, adding: “But the Federal Government decided to select IMs, following criticism of poor feedback mechanism on what the government was doing.”
One of the IMs, Mr Sunday Alagba in Ebonyi said the NSIP “is the best people oriented programme.’
No fewer than 59 IMs in Akwa Ibom and 83 of them in Delta are being trained by the ministry.
Meanwhile, the training of IMs in Imo will begin on Feb. 22 with Bayelsa and Abia expected to follow suit.
The NSIP was introduced by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 with the vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by the year 2030.
The programme has four components, the N-Power programme, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.
All the state’s focal persons on NSIP in the region are expected to coordinate and monitor the effective implementation of the Programme with assistance from the NOA in all local government areas in the states. (NAN)