The Federal Government has trained about 1,600 Independent Monitors (IMs) in the South-West and North-West regions of the country to supervise the implementation of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja by her Special Assistant on Corporate Communication, Mrs Halima Oyewole.
The minister, who described the move as fundamentally necessary, said the NSIP was created by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, with the mandate of lifting citizens out of poverty through a number of Social Intervention schemes.
The components of the NSIP includes, N-Power, National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.
Farouq said the training of the IMs came up as a result of series of feedback received from the field on the implementation of the NSIP.
“We have started a two weeks training for over 1,600 IMs in the South-West and North-West regions of the country, after which they will be deploy to monitor the NSIP and beneficiaries in their localities like households, Schools, Markets and others.
“So far, in the South-West Regions, we are training 196 in Lagos, 45 in Ekiti, 56 in Osun, 79 in Oyo, 86 in Ondo State and 52 in Ogun.
“Similarly, in the North-West, we have 198 in Kaduna State, 372 in Kano State, 91 in Jigawa, 117 in Katsina State, 60 in Kebbi, 130 in Sokoto and also some in Zamfara.
“”We will not hesitate to take the IMs off the programme if they are found violating the terms of their engagement.
“we are working with the security agents such as EFCC and ICPC to monitor these programmes and if found engaging in any form of malpractice or fraud, they will be handed over to them for investigation and prosecution,” she said.
Farouq, who was represented in the South-West region by her Technical Assistant, Mrs Kemisola Olasetemi and the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Hajiya Jumai Ali, told the IMs to be patriotic in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Similarly, in the North-West, where Farouq was represented by the Ministry’s Assistant Director on Legal Matters, Hajiya Maimuna Idris and the Director of ICT, Malam Aminu Bello admonished the IMs not to compromise in the process of carrying out their duties.
The IMs were drawn from the local government areas in each of the states to participate in the training which aimed to checkmate challenges hitherto experienced in the implementation of the NSIP and provide feedback.
The IMs are engage for one year in the first instance.The National Orientation Agency (NOA) is also a partner in progress in the monitoring and implementation of the programme because they have offices in all the 774 local government areas in the country.
Meanwhile, the state Director of NOA in Kaduna State, Malam Galadima Zubairu said the NSIP was designed to lift Nigerians out of poverty and urged the IMs to help each other.
Similarly, the state Director of NOA in Ogun, Mr Sola Babalola said the Agency had been in the fore front of the programme, adding that the results has been worthwhile.
One of the beneficiaries from Kano, Hajiya Aisha Bello said they were trained on how to monitor the programmes and filled the forms to enhance an effective feedback.(NAN)