By Our Correspondent
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, has flagged off the onboarding of 3,000 Stream 2 independent monitors for the Buhari Administration’s flagship National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP).
During the flag-off, held at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre im Abuja, the minister explained that monitors were one of the most important components of the NSIP.
She said the ministry lays special emphasis on ensuring that its programmes are closely monitored.
“Today’s programme marks the beginning of the national training and onboarding of additional 3,000 men and women who will serve as Stream 2 monitors,” she said, adding, “They will be given the prerequisite training and receive engagement letters and tablets as working tools for monitoring the programme.”
She said: “The NSIP independent monitors are responsible for monitoring the NSIP programmes in their communities, schools, households and market clusters, with focus on ensuring that the primary objectives of the NSIPs are achieved.
“We have monitors in every Local Government where the NSIP is being implemented.
“Through the Social Investment Management Information System (SIMIS) application, our Stream 1 monitors have uploaded over 220,000 reports to date on the application, giving us good visibility on the programmes in the communities.
“The incoming Stream 2 independent monitors are expected to continue using the same platform to report their activities from the field.”
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, charged the beneficiaries to work closely with the state NSIP teams and avoid any form of intimidation of the beneficiaries.
Hajiya Sadiya said, “Monitoring at the state requires that the independent monitors work hand in hand with the state NSIP teams. They are also required to work closely with the beneficiaries.
“No intimidation of beneficiaries by an independent monitor will be accepted by the ministry. Any independent monitor found intimidating or harassing a beneficiary will be taken off the programme.”
Earlier in a welcome address, Dr. Umar Bindir of the office of the minister stated that the SIPs have lifted many people out of poverty while tackling youth challenges through N-Power and its affiliated programme like N-Build and N-Skills.
While explaining the processes and objectives for Social Investment Programmes monitoring, the Special Adviser to the President and Team Lead, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Fatiya Askederin Musah, said the training will define roles and responsibilities for NSIP monitors, as well as teach the reporting skills and timelines using the monitoring device.
“We monitor to have visibility in all the states, to collect data and determine areas of improvement and also document lessons learnt.
“Without monitoring and evaluation, we will not be able to measure the benefits or demerits of the NSIPs, hence the need to ensure accurate evaluation of all government’s poverty alleviation programmes.”
There were goodwill messages from the Chairman, Focal Persons Forum, Nasir Abdulkadir, and a representative of a non-governmental organisation, Save the Children.
In attendance were also directors of the ministry, including Alhaji Ali Grema who represented the Permanent Secretary, Team Leads, Focal Persons from Katsina, Nasarawa, Osun and Rivers states, as well as NGOs and representatives of civil society groups.
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