By Francis Sardauna
The federal government has announced the engagement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to checkmate any fraud in its ongoing Social Investment Programmes across the country.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, unveiled this to journalists Thursday in Katsina during the training of 117 independent monitors at the state Local Government Service Commission.
The minister, represented by the Assistant Director, ICT in the ministry, Mr Aminu Tukur, said any beneficiary of the social intervention programmes found violating the rules of engagement would be handed over to the anti-craft agencies for investigation and prosecution.
She said: “Please be informed that the ministry will not hesitate to take you off the programme if you are found violating the terms of your engagement.
“We are also working with security agencies like DSS, EFCC and ICPC to monitor these programmes. If you are found engaging in any form of malpractice or fraud, you will be handed over to them for investigation and prosecution.”
She explained that the 117 independent monitors were engaged by her ministry to assess the implementation of different federal government’s programmes been carried out through the ministry in Katsina State.
The monitors, she said after training, would be assigned to supervise beneficiaries of the social investment programmes within their locality, schools, households, market clusters and make assessment.
According to her, such social interventions included N-Power, National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), among other notable poverty alleviation programmes of the federal government.
The minister reiterated that the scope of the programmes was large, with about 13 million citizens across the country who were benefiting from the federal government interventions.
Consequently, she charged the 117 independent monitors to carry out their duties with diligence and sincerity as enshrined in the rules of engagement and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Bello Masari on Empowerment and Social Intervention, Abdulkadir Mohammed-Nasir, urged the monitors to do their job with sincerity.
Mohammed-Nasir also urged them not to allow themselves to be used by selfish politicians while discharging their duties.