The Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the expansion of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIPs), as part of his vision to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
The Minister stated this at the opening ceremony of 4th Annual review of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, held in Abuja.
She said the expansion include an addition of 5 million pupils in non-conventional educational settings in the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP); the Npower program to create jobs for a total of 1million beneficiaries; GEEP programme to provide loans to an additional 1million traders, farmers and market people and the Social Register is to accommodate an additional 1million households.
Others are the launch of the Special Rural Women Grant Programme, which will reach women in the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT; the launch of the Shock Responsive Social Register, which would provide grants to 1million identified vulnerable persons in urban areas and the creation of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, to better manage the needs of persons with special needs.
“It is therefore safe to say that we have been working tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable Nigerians are brought into the Federal Governments Social Protection umbrella which seeks to support, empower and level the playing field so that they are better equipped to handle economic and social shocks while contributing their quota to society and to the betterment of our great nation.
“The National Home-Grown School Feeding Program is an important intervention because of the multiple wins it is capable of delivering. It is a vehicle for reducing hunger, promoting educational gains, health status improvement and economic stimulation. Such programmes are recognised as positive indicators for Countries who are on track to achieve sustainable development. The long term benefits to our children and the future of the Nation cannot be over emphasised. Thus we must resolve to remain steadfast in ensuring that this program reaches its objectives and improves the lives of its beneficiaries.
The Minister commended the efforts of the Program Managers, State Focal Persons and other partners for effectively coordinating the NSIPS program and urge them to fully participate in the review program and share knowledge to fulfil Mr President’s vision of addressing poverty in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Bashir Nura Alkali, urged all the Focal Persons Program Managers, government and non – governmental stakeholders to continue to support the Ministry in the most co-ordinated way to achieve the mandate of improving the lives of the vulnerable Nigerians that are targeted in the programme especially the Nigerian Child.
He said, “The event is an opportunity to share experience of success and reflect and discuss amongst ourselves complex challenges plaguing the programme and proffer solution on how to be more effective”.
The Technical Assistant to the Honourable Minister on NHGSFP, Zainab Abubakar, in her opening remarks said, this year’s review is to access progress made since the 3rd annual review meeting, identify challenges encountered along the way, proffer sustainable solution to those challenges, hear from the States on how the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme is running in their States, review the NHGSFP implementation manual and develop a work plan for 2021.
Rhoda Ishaku Iliya
18th January, 2021