Federal Government of Nigeria’s National Social Investment Programmes, also known as the NSIP’s. In order to guarantee high-level political authority and coordination for all social protection programmes within Nigeria, the Federal Government of Nigeria has established the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) within the Presidency but more specifically, the Office of the Vice President, with the goal to undertake and ensure the following:
The social investment programs draw from the social protection policy framework in a manner that ensures a life of dignity for those who have been constrained, in one way or another, from achieving their full potential.
A 3rd party monitoring process is underway through support provided by Action Aid, to provide feedback from the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory. Civil society actors, as well as labor organizations have been briefed and remain available to render independent monitoring reports, along with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, whose mandate it is to monitor the implementation of all government projects. The Delivery Unit within the Office of the Vice President is also collaborating with all partners to ensure that bottlenecks within the programs are resolved timeously.
Several factors have impacted on the pace of program implementation in the individual States, as State ownership and buy-in to programmes is essential before uptake and long-term sustainability. While the FGN sets the standards as the framework for engagement, States are expected to meet the criteria, for payment to be made directly to the beneficiaries.
All States are required to sign MoU’s with the Federal Government, provide Offices (with pertinent equipment and logistic support), appoint competent staff to drive the implementation aspects of the programme within their jurisdictions, as well as meet the guidelines for payments to beneficiaries. A focal person is nominated by the State, to further integrate our insistence on transparency and seamless engagement.
It must be clarified that only targeted beneficiaries with a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN) will receive funds directly from the Federal Government, through their accounts, while the States prepare the ground for commencement by meeting the expectations set out in the MoU.
The late release of funds in 2016, as well as the lack of adequate publicity have hampered wide and rapid implementation. It would appear also that cynicism that the programs would actually take off in the manner promised, could have attributed to the lack of engagement in the initial months. Now that the processes have commenced, we have witnessed a significant increase in interest and engagement from many States and the expectation is that within the year 2017, given the pace of activity in the last few months, many more States would have been impacted by all of the NSIP’s.
We encourage all citizens of the country to key into our programmes, as we look to our partners to suggest and create areas of synergy so that we increase social investments in the Nigerian people, thereby inevitably meeting our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).