Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Secretaries to State Governments (SSGs) have commended the federal government for introducing both the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) to alleviate poverty and other social problems in the country.
They also proposed the review of the school feeding programme to be extended to cover primary four to six. The proposal called for continuous and regular funding of the home-grown school feeding programme under the NSIP.
The recommendations were part of the decision taken at the end of the first quarter 2018 edition of the Forum of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) with the SSGs, held in Yola.
Â The forum recommended measures to improve theÂ implementation of the programmes to include theÂ review and strengthening ofÂ the structure of NSIP in some States; strengthening of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) both at the State and federal levels; ensuring extensive consultation with states in the planning and implementation of NSIP and other similar programmes; and Increased awarenessÂ on how to benefit from the programmes.
Among other recommendations, the forum also called for disbursement of funds and loans in the ABP to be time bound, while in addition, bureaucratic bottleneck associated with the disbursement of funds under ABP should be removed to ensure easy access to the loans.
They also recommended that the Bank of Agriculture should be empowered to handle ABP entirely in view of the problems being faced in dealing with commercial banks while the minimum of one hectare per farmer should be made conditioner before accessing loans.
In his keynote address, the SGF, Boss Mustapha, represented by the Permanent Secretary (Ecological Fund Office of the OSGF), Dr. Habiba Lawal, reiterated the need to forge cooperation and collaborations amongst the various tiers of government to ensure progress, growth and development of the nation.
He particularly noted the need to work as a team to solve some of the emerging problems confronting the nation.
In his opening remarks, the Governor of Adamawa State, Muhammed Umar Jubrilla, enjoined the SSGs to imbibe the spirit of cooperation to ensure sustained socio-economic development in Nigeria.
He also stressed the need for purposeful leadership and effective use of resources for overall development