NSIP – Lifting Nigerians out of Poverty (1)
Over the years, efforts by successive governments – at various levels – aimed at alleviating the level of poverty that afflicts the vast majority of Nigerians (in spite of our rich natural and human endowments) have no doubt been well-meaning and motivated by the most noble intentions, but they have tended to tackle the outward, apparent symptoms of the scourge, rather than its fundamental causes, namely, the lack (or slow pace) of overall economic national growth on both the macro- and micro-economic levels. For this reason, too many interventions in the past have tended to take on a rather ad-hoc, haphazard and lopsided character. Whatever positive results have come from these efforts have been short-lived at best, and even counterproductive at worst. In a number of cases, they have actually resulted in a further deepening of poverty, as can be seen in Nigeria’s unenviable standing on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index as far as extreme poverty is concerned.
It was in view of the need to deploy a new, more proactive and multi-dimensional strategy for tackling poverty – in the wake of declining oil prices in 2014/015 and the resulting recession that hit the nation in 2016 – that the Federal Government of Nigeria, via the Office of the President, set up the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) to deploy a number of structured social intervention and poverty-alleviation programmes – among them the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP). At its formal launch in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, rightly described the programme as ‘the most ambitious social protection programme in our history to start the process of lifting many from poverty, while at the same time creating the opportunity for people to fend for themselves. ’The President situated the aims and objectives of the programme squarely within the ambit of the 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), whose overarching vision is one of sustained inclusive growth to be achieved by investing in the Nigerian people through increased social inclusion, the creation of jobs and improvement in the human capital base of the economy. The ERGP’s emphasis on macroeconomic stability duly recognised the urgent imperative of making changes to economic as well as social policies as the only sure way of securing any recovery or growth gains, especially given the country’s weak social investments over the last three decades or so. These challenges include:
- Weak synergy between Federal, State and Local Governments;
- Failure to address fundamental issues of identification;
- Unreliable mechanisms for targeting beneficiaries;
- Lack of credible and harmonized database for planning;
- Weak monitoring and evaluation of governance and redress management processes and system;
- Poor donor, government and partner coordination and alignment;
- Lack of transparent and effective payment systems for Direct G2P payment; and
- Limited scale and coverage, lack of accountability and ability to accurately measure impact.
To ensure that NSIPs fulfilled their mandates of addressing the challenges around our human capital development with the aim of reducing poverty and creating wealth in order to tackle the socio-economic vulnerability in the country, the federal government duly appropriated the sum of N500b (five hundred billion naira) for its smooth implementation under the chairmanship of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, CFR. The programme is coordinated by the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programmes, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, whose dynamic leadership is complemented by the accounting stewardship of the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, while the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning serves as the Secretary of the Programme Steering Committee.
The NSIP is responsible for the management and delivery of four (4) social investment programmes, namely –
- The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSF)
- The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme
- The Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and
- The N-Power initiative.
Out of an annual approved budget of the aforementioned N500 Billion, however, Mrs. Uwais, the Coordinator of NSIPs says, the total sum of N470,825,522,694.62 (i.e. Four Hundred and Seventy Billion, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five Million, Five Hundred and Twenty-Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety-Four Naira, Sixty-Two Kobo)was released to the NSIO between 2016 and 2018, out of which the following was expended on the four afore-mentioned programmes, as follows:
N79,985,158,705.32(Seventy-Nine Billion, Nine Hundred And Eighty Five Million, One Hundred And Fifty-Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred And Five Naira, Thirty-Two Kobo)being 31% of the appropriated amount for the period.
N140, 000,000,000.00(One Hundred and Forty Billion Naira Only)
N250, 840,363,989.30 (Two Hundred And Fifty Billion, Eight Hundred And Forty Million, Three Hundred And Sixty-Three Thousand, Nine Hundred And Eighty-Nine Naira Only)
Between March and April of 2019, the Policy Innovation Unit (PIU) – jointly made up of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Accenture and the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics– conducted an impact evaluation on 3 of the 4 NSIPs against their specific programme objectives, as envisaged during the adoption and initial implementation of the programmes.
Their assessment was as follows:
- The National Home-Grown School Feeding (NHGSF) Programme:
Its main purpose is to provide children in primary school levels 1-3 across public schools in Nigeria a free, nutritionally balanced meal as an incentive to drive primary school enrolment – using locally-produced food and employing low income fairly unskilled women as cooks in order to improve the welfare of these women and their families, as well as ensure access to markets for local small-holder farmers. The goal is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, improve nutrition and health, promote agricultural development, gender equality and empower women – especially in rural communities.
Thanks to the sustained investment in this programme and its modus operandi, Nigeria is on its way to becoming the African leader in school-feeding schemes of this kind, as she is presently feeding over 9.5 million pupils in primary years 1-3, in 53,715 government primary schools around 31 States -a feat achieved in just three years. With 103,992 (one hundred and three) cooks on our payroll, affected states are at various stages of meeting the criteria laid by the Federal Government for feeding to commence. The young beneficiaries are afforded a healthy, balanced diet, which has gone a long way towards improving their learning outcomes. Thanks to the steady increase of the agricultural value chain, small holder farmers, especially those that reside around targeted public schools are assured of a sustainable income for the foreseeable future. each week of the programme, for instance, the NHGSFP requires 94 metric tons of fish,7,260,862 eggs and 767 cattle for this purpose – not to mention fruits, vegetables and grains as a component part of our carefully thought-out diet routine for the beneficiaries. Our mostly agrarian rural economy has also benefitted from this boom.
Registration for the Law Week is still ongoing and multiple registration channels have been provided by the Law Week Committee towards a seamless and hassle-free registration experience for participants.
This includes payment at the banks or through POS at the Lagos NBA branch office. Participants can also download the registration form and pay through the payment gateway indicated on the branch website.
The registration rates are below:
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- 16 – 19 years is 10,000
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