The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said that achieving the task of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision, would require initiatives that would
prevent and eliminate third party corruption in the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP).
She said steps must also be taken to ensure that all poverty alleviation strategies and programmes remained strengthened and devoid of infractions that could undermine the present administration’s ongoing efforts to empower the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
The minister spoke at a media briefing and formal launch of the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Commission (ICPC) partnership on preventing corruption in the implementation of N-SIPs held over the weekend.
She added that collaborative engagement between the NSIO and ICPC had become crucial in order to rid the scheme of allegations of corruption which tends to limit the success of the poverty alleviation efforts of the present administration.
According to her, the objective of the programme was mainly to reach the poor and vulnerable Nigerians, following the, “growing rate of poverty and unemployment in the country in the years preceding the current democratic dispensation.”
Farouq said: “It is an established fact that the Poverty rate in Nigeria is almost suffocating. It becomes even more worrisome amid reports that by the year 2030, we will have over 120 million people living in extreme poverty in Nigeria.
“The Buhari administration is concerned about this development and has since come up with this programme and other initiatives, policies and programmes aimed at alleviating poverty in the country.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, said the partnership would help to minimise corruption in the entire programme.
She added that the collaboration was mutually beneficial and in line with the key objectives of the present administration
to reduce poverty and address the challenges of corruption, adding that the interests of Nigerians would be further safeguarded.
“This administration is walking the talk; 100m Nigerians can be lifted out of poverty in 10 years, given the collective ownership of all of us concerned Nigerians. I urge that all of us please take up this challenge as a personal responsibility,” she said.
The engagement between the programme and anti-graft agency followed reports that some unscrupulous individuals were taking undue advantage of poor Nigerians whom the social intervention programmes were meant to appease.
The intervention, among other measures being put in place, including the recent engagement of third party monitors is meant to further ring-fence the social protection initiatives against corruption.