The Nigerian government has said it will overhaul the N-Power scheme, school feeding programme and other projects under the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs).
“All present processes, especially beneficiary enrolment and payments including for consultancies, are being scrutinised and stakeholders are being consulted for inputs that will lead to the total overhaul of the programmes in order to achieve the purposes for which they were established,” a spokesperson at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Rhoda Ishaku Iliya said in a statement.
Iliya said the planned overhaul of the NSIPs is to ensure maximum transparency, better efficiency and more prudent application of resources.
The ministry’s spokesperson explained that the process of overhauling the programmes will involve observing and enforcing diligence in the NSIP processes for full compliance with extant regulations and best practices in public sector financial transactions.
She said the overhauling was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to institutionalize the programmes.
“It is hereby emphasised that the Ministry is determined to give maximum effect to the laudable decision of government to institutionalize the NSIPs, the implementation of which is costing the government billions of Naira annually,” Iliya said.
Buhari on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, moved the NSIPs to the Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development ministry with the aim of “institutionalising” them.
Prior to this, activities of NSIPs were coordinated by a government Steering Committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo which comprises Finance, Education, Health, Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs, Labour and Productivity, Information ministers to implement government’s agenda.
Nigeria’s budget and national planning ministry was NSIPs secretariat.
Iliya, however, noted that the overhauling and institutionalising the programmes will ‘slow down’ the implementation of the programmes.
The process, she said will “certainly not go down well with vested interests sure to be frustrated with the new direction, and who may, therefore, resort to the use of traditional and new media as well as misdirected public advocacy to distract government and derail the process.”
She appealed “to any misinformed members of the public to desist from actions that may distract the Ministry from discharging this important national mandate or even delay the implementation of these life-changing programmes.”