The Federal Government on Friday inaugurated 49 National Social Independent Programme (NSIP) monitors in Cross River State.
The monitors, who were trained to collect data from recipients of Federal Government NSIP in their local communities, were also to ensure that the government gets feedback from the people.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development of Nigeria, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, who was represented by Mr Kingsley Ngene, her Special Adviser on Administration, said following the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, she mapped-out NSIP to ensure that poverty reduction in the nation was accomplished.
She said although the programme had been running since 2015, the Federal Government decided to select independent monitors following criticism of poor feedback on what government was doing to support the vulnerable.
“These people were carefully selected to ensure that they monitor and give government feedback on how much is being done in this programme, following numerous accusations that the programme does not get to the target recipients.
“This is to show you the seriousness of our commitment in ensuring that NSIP is effectively implemented and monitored in Cross River.
“No fewer than 49 people were selected from the 18 local government areas of Cross River, we also have National Orientation Agency (NOA) who are in all the local governments to help guide the monitors in acquiring the required information,” she said.
The minister, who added that the monitors would be engaged for a period of one year, urged them to see their job as service to humanity and an opportunity to serve their people by being diligent and not short changing the target groups.
Mrs Blessing Egbara, the Cross River Commissioner for Humanity and Social Welfare, said since the programme started in 2015, residents of the state had benefited and were still benefiting.
“Today (Friday) we have seen another direction of the NSIP, which is the training of independent monitors, who will ensure that what comes to the people is received by the right beneficiaries.
“As a ministry, we will monitor the independent monitors to ensure that they play their roles effectively,” she said.
Mr. Amissine Ogban, the state Director of NOA, said his agency was critically involved in the N-Power initiative of the Federal Government.
Ogban said that their duty was to give necessary assistance to the monitors where they had issues, especially in the field.
He said that they would do their best to ensure that Cross River keyed into the Federal Government’s activities by sensitising the people on government’s programmes and policies.
NSIP has four components, the N-Power programme, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).