To gratify its humanitarian commitments under the National Social Investment Plan (NSIP), the Federal Government of Nigeria recently announced that 1,940,004 vulnerable Nigerians are currently receiving N5,000 cash gifts every month. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq made this announcement, stressing that the core objective of the National Social Investment Programme Establishment Bill is to establish a statutory and institutional framework for the execution of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP)
Hajia Farouq stated this during a One-Day Stakeholders’ Retreat On the National Social Investment (Establishment) Bill organized by the Senate Committee On Social Responsibilities through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Nasir Sani Gwarzo. She said that President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria launched the NISP in 2016 to combat social and economic inequality and poverty in the country. According to her, four social support programs have been established to aid the most vulnerable and impoverished Nigerians to improve their way of life.
The NSIP posed to aid in accomplishing several SDGs.
Through its four cluster programmes, she noted that the NSIP is, directly and indirectly, contributing significantly to the lives of poor Nigerians. These programs include the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), and the Conditioner Cash Transfer Programme (CCTP). These initiatives aim to prevent additional individuals from falling below the poverty line by offering a multitude of social safety nets to the already poor and those in need.
In addition, the NSIP pose to aid in accomplishing several of the sustainable development goals, such as those related to lowering poverty levels, improving health, expanding access to education, and fostering social inclusion and empowerment. This is also noted under Section 17(3) of the constitution stating that “the State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that all its citizens without discrimination have the opportunity of securing adequate means of livelihood and ensuring provision is made for public assistance in deserving cases of need among others”.
NHGSFP is helping to lower the out-of-school children rate steadily.
As part of the notable contribution of NSIP since it was launched in 2016, millions of Nigerian youths have been empowered through the N-Power Programme, and additional 500,000 others are currently undergoing various training under the program as approved by the President. With the aid of the cash transfer, 1,975,381 poor and vulnerable families were added to the National Beneficiary Registry (NBR). The NBR alone has 9,841,700 households across the federation’s 36 states.
The Cash Transfer program assists the poor and vulnerable in consumption while developing savings skills to alleviate poverty and increase resilience to shocks. Children’s enrollment in public elementary schools has increased as a result of the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP). Presently, NHGSFP provides school meals to nearly 10 million students at 66,000 public schools throughout Nigeria, helping to steadily lower the country’s out-of-school children rate. Around 2 million people have benefited from GEEP loans in the form of Trader Moni, Market Moni, and Farmer Moni. As the program proceeded, over 1 million individuals applied for the second round.
Any legislation does not yet underpin the NSIP.
It’s worth noting that laws back up the many contributory social security plans today, including Social Insurance, health insurance, and the pension system. However, the NSIP, a non-contributory social protection plan, is not underpinned by any legislation, indicating a strong need for it to be. The Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Yusuf Yusuf, states in his statement that the retreat’s purpose was to bring together key players from the ministry and other agencies to provide the committee with crucial information for developing sound legislation for the foundation of the NSIP.