Coalition Fumes over alleged mismanagement within Social Investment Program
By: Femi Mustspha
The National Social Protection Forum (NSPF), a coalition of civil society Organizations working on social protection in Nigeria, expresses deep concern over alleged mismanagement and corruption within the National Social Investment Program (NSIP).
This was contained in a statement by National Coordinator of NSPF Dr. Taiwo Benson and made available to the media in Kaduna on 22nd January, 2024.
The coalition commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the prompt response suspending officers who were accused of being involved in the mismanagement of funds meant for the effective and efficient implementation of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs).
“This was rightly followed by constituting a special presidential panel to conduct a thorough review of the Agency’s operations and make recommendations.
“NSPF encourages the Federal Government to unravel the truth regarding the implementation of the NSIP and make far reaching recommendations accordingly. No public servant no matter how highly placed should be spared from facing the full wrath of the law if the outcome of the investigation indicts him or her.
“Worthy of note is that Nigerians will use the investigation of this high-profile corruption allegations to assess Mr. President’s stance on corruption.
“We therefore appeal that the investigation of the national social investment programs should be an unbiased process that will ensure that, going forward, social intervention programmes work exactly as intended, to the benefit of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
“The suspension, though commendable, will no doubt affect crucial programs such as N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer, Government Enterprise and Empowerment, and Homegrown School Feeding, potentially causing devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the beneficiaries in the interim.
“We are recommending the lifting of the suspension of the NSIP as soon as the investigations are completed.”
The Coalition urges President Tinubu to strengthen the implementation of social investment programmes by setting up a strong grievance redress mechanism and involving CSOs in the third-party monitoring of the interventions for transparency, accountability, and efficiency.
“As a network of civil society organizations working on social protection, we are committed to monitoring the situation, advocating for the rights and welfare of poor and vulnerable Nigerians, who deserve to benefit from the NSIP as a social contract between the government and the people.” the statement reads