Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, on Tuesday warned Independent Observers of the National Social Investment Program against intimidation of program beneficiaries.
She sounded the warning in her address at the groundbreaking ceremony for the onboarding and training of 3,000 independent NSIP Tier 2 monitors in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Farouq, who was represented by team leader Margaret Chuka-Ogwude, said any independent monitor caught harassing beneficiaries would be disciplined accordingly and handed over to the relevant authorities.
She noted that the independent monitors were one of the most important components of the NSIP and that the ministry placed particular emphasis on closely monitoring its programs.
She urged the independent Tier 2 monitors to take the training seriously and upload their field reports on the application of the social investment management information system daily to reflect the implementation of the program in various communities. of State.
Addressing the attendees, Farouq said, “All the state NSIP officials are here today and I ask you to work closely with them. No intimidation of beneficiaries by an Independent Observer will be accepted by the Ministry.
“Any Independent Observer caught intimidating or harassing a beneficiary will be removed from the program.
“Be advised that we have officials from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Department of State Services working with us on this program, and those found guilty will be turned over to the appropriate authorities.”
Farouq said the ministry was also collaborating with nongovernmental organizations and civil society groups that would support the monitors in their monitoring mission.
Also speaking, NSIP’s Bayelsa State Coordinator, Amiekumo Ebieritei, explained that independent monitors would monitor beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer program, N-Power, state-owned enterprises and the empowerment program and of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
She said they would be assigned to the eight local government areas in the state and their monitoring exercise would be facilitated by the tablets given to them as work tools by the ministry.
In separate interviews, two of the independent monitors, Ernest Smart and Edith Ugwuchinenye, said the training prepared them for the task ahead as well as the effective use of the device for field monitoring and reporting.
“As an independent instructor, I understood the program better. The training enlightened me. I look forward to working with the school children, to seeing them being fed at school exactly as we intend to in the North,” said Ugwuchinenye.