By Henry Odeh
As part of efforts by both the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Oyo State Government to ensure transparency and effectiveness in the disbursement of the FG Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and other poverty alleviation programs in the state under the National Social Investment Scheme, the Oyo state and FG have collaborated to train independent monitors of the program.
The independent monitors who are drawn from across various local government areas of the state are currently undergoing training for effective disbursement of the funds to those living below the poverty level.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management And Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, represented by the Assistant Director, Planning, Research, and Statistics, Hajia Jumai Abdu-Ali, while delivering her speech at the official flag off of Independent Monitors For National Social Investment Programme in Ibadan on Monday 22nd February, stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari is seriously concerned about the wellbeing of Nigerians and particularly disturbed by the effects of COVID-19 on family and households finances.
Abdu-Ali noted that the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) was created by President Buhari in 2016 with the mandate to lift Nigerians out of poverty through series of social interventions including Job Creation: N-POWER, National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, as well as the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.
“Today, we are flagging off the training of 79 independent monitors in Oyo state that will monitor the programme at the community level. The independent monitors will be assigned to monitor programme beneficiaries within their localities in schools, households, and market clusters with the focus on ensuring that the primary objective of these pregrammes are achieved,” Hajia Abdu-Ali stated.”
Speaking on behalf of Oyo state government, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Joke SANNI, in her address maintained that the Conditional Cash Transfer Program has brought about tremendous change of life to all beneficiaries for better.
She commended the administration of President Buhari for such laudable initiative particularly in the selection of the beneficiaries. She noted that the NSIP initiated by President Buhari has seen many Oyo state citizens gainfully employed under various schemes including N-Agro, N-Health, N-Education, N-Community, among others.
Alhaja Sanni, who explained that the Conditional Cash Transfer involves payment of N5000 (five thousand naira) bi-monthly basic transfer to every poorest and vulnerable households also noted that the initiative has prevented many Nigerians in the state from adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the independent monitors currently undergoing training who spoke with journalists at the flag off event expressed their readiness to ensure that the cash disbursement gets to the real people it was targeted.
Adeniyi Ajani, from Ibadan North local government, commended President Buhari for the programme describing it as “very laudable.”
“This is a very laudable programme designed by the federal government of Nigeria to take people out of poverty and one of the things we required to do is to serve as independent monitors in our area to ensure to ensure the success of the program and we are to ensure that what government is giving is well monitored.”
Another Independent monitor, Miss LECKY Ganiat, from Ibadan South East local government, noted that the training has helped them with requisite knowledge of their roles as independent monitors and expressed her readiness to ensure that the program is success.