The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has intensified its fight against poverty with the distribution of tablets and appointment letters to independent monitors in South South for holistic monitoring of the four clusters of the National Social Investment Programme, NSIP.
The Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who flagged off the distribution in Calabar, weekend, said Cross River state was chosen for South South zone.
Represented by the Director, Human Resources in the ministry, Jaji Babatunde, the Minister charged the independent monitors to show commitment to the task ahead.
In an address, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Bashir Nura Alkali, who was also represented by Mr Babatunde, said the distribution of the items were geared towards ensuring the federal government’s goals on lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty were realised.
“In a bid to achieve the set goals and objectives of each of these Programmes, the Ministry believes that adequate monitoring is important. The engagement of Independent Monitors for NSIP, therefore, is one of the strategies to ensure that these programmes achieve the desired results.
“While the engagement of Independent Monitors is not new, the Ministry has methodically reviewed the modalities and design of previous engagements to build more robust and proactive strategies to monitor the Programmes. The Independent Monitors will supervise monitor programme beneficiaries within their locality in schools, households and market clusters on a routine basis, using a standardized reporting tools which have been made available in hard and electronic copies. This would help measure the impact of these Programmes.
“I wish to state here that the initial target was to train 5,000 Independent Monitors (IM’s) across the 36 states and FCT. However, 4,452 were successfully trained. In addition to the training on the manual data collection tools, which would serve as a working tool for the Independent Monitor, the Ministry has automated the process through development of a mobile and web-based application called the Social Investment Management Information System (SIMIS) for an efficient and effective process of data collection and reporting.
“Each Independent Monitor will be given a unique user ID and Password to gain access to the platform which they will enter data and the M&E team of the Ministry and the State Programme Team will monitor the platform to determine if the Independent Monitors are collecting timely, complete and correct data.
“The trained Independent Monitors will be oriented on the use of the Social Investment Management Information System (SIMIS) application. It is my hope that the IMs pay attention and learn as the team guides you through the process of using the SIMIS.
“I must appreciate Mr. President for his regime’s persistent efforts to fight poverty and unemployment in our land through the implementation of NSIP. The role and efforts of our indefatigable Honorable Minister to achieve Mr. President’s 2030 target of taking out 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is highly esteemed.”
In her remarks, the Cross River State Focal Person on NSIP, Mrs Blessing Egbara, charged the independent monitors to show commitment and passion for the job since the assignment “is meant to give a lease of life to the handicapped and vulnerable members of the society.”
In an interview, one of the independent monitors, Hillary Asu, from Boki II State constituency, said his colleagues were committed to the assignment and promised to ensure its success