Cross section of participants at the one day training of Independent Monitors on Social Investment Programme, held in Port Harcourt
From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government has reiterated its plan to pull out some 100 million Nigerians out of poverty through its series of intervention programmes.
The federal government through its Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, revealed that with the available National social investment programmes, in the next 10 years so many Nigerians would have been positively affected.
Abdulkareem Iliyasu, Special Assistant to the Permanent Secretary of FMHADMSM, reiterated this at a one day training of Independent Monitors on Social Investment Programme, held at the weekend in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Iliyasu who noted the high rate of poverty in Nigeria, stressed that NSIP are the intervention programmes the federal government established to help majority of Nigerians out of poverty.
In his remarks at the training programme, Iliyasu stated ”As we are aware, the level of poverty in Nigeria is so high and this has negatively impacted on our entire lives. Today, we hear of Nigeria being the capital of corruption and it has greatly affected the psyche of our entire behavior.
“We are here today to have a one day training programme for monitors that will assist in collecting information on the implementation of social investment programmes. The NSIP are intervention programmes the federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari established to help majority of Nigerians from poverty.
“Federal Government has plans to remove some 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years through these interventions. The desire of the Federal Government to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is informed by the level of poverty that is inherent in the country and that is why the government set up the social investment programme to provide the lead way for people to get out, to empower them so that they can stand on their own, eventually to also become employers of labour so that by that it will gradually remove us from large scale of poverty.”
He explained that for programmes to be successful, “the government thought it will be proper to have monitors who will put eye and record how the programmes are implemented. The results collated and the information you have supplied will be used by the government to improve on the implementation of the programmes so that it will achieve the goals of which they were set up”.
In his address, Dr George Nwaeke, Permanent Secretary, Special Services Bureau, who represented the Secretary to the Rivers State Government at the programme, noted that the principal objective of the Federal Government is to reduce unacceptable levels of poverty and socio-economic vulnerability in the country through the NSIP and other related programme.
He stressed that many projects and programmes of government at different levels have failed due to lack of monitoring and evaluation.
Dr Nwaeke who commended the State Governor, Barr Nyesom Wike for his effort in the empowerment and economic programmes put in place for the purpose of eliminating the menace of poverty in the state, regretted that Rivers State has not fully benefited from the federal government intervention programmes, even when the state has been recorded as facing high level of poverty.
“I wish to use this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Wike on the various economic empowerment programmes geared towards the upliftment of lives of residents of the state. His Excellency’s humanitarian intervention at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, is one that deserves international acclamation. His Excellency has also complemented the effort of Federal government in the SIP project.
“From available statistics, I observe that about 1.5million people have been captured in the socio insurance register, which is an average of 41.667 for each of the 36 states, or an average of 3% for each state. However, information at our disposal shows that about 228, 428 persons, representing 15% of the total is from Rivers state.
“The above statistics is an indication that the poverty level in Rivers State is 5 times the national average. This is a paradox, in view of the fact that the nation derives its main economic resource from the state and the region. It is therefore necessary that the Federal Government reinvigorates its efforts to ameliorate this identified poverty rate in the state and indeed the entire Niger Delta Region.
“With the worrisome but yet true statistics, it is most regrettable to state that the Federal Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) is entirely managed by the Bank of Industry (BOI) with any recourse of interaction with the Rivers State Government,” Dr Nwaeke stated.
Dr Nwaeke however, called on the forum to take the training programme seriously and supply adequate and accurate statics to government, adding that “there is also the need to interpret your statics properly to enable you give informed advice to government. It is also incumbent on the Federal Government to make optimal use of the statistics supplied to them.”