From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has commenced the training of 98 independent monitors to monitor the effective implementation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Social Investment Programme in Plateau State.
The minister, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, disclosed this at the weekend during the training workshop for independent monitors selected as representatives of various communities in the 17 local government areas of the state.
The Special Adviser on Technical and Humanitarian Affairs, Group Captain Sadiqu Garba Shehu (retd), representing the minister, said the idea for the independent monitors was initiated due to emerging complaints from beneficiaries who claimed not to have being receiving what was due for them.
‘We are training independent Monitors who will monitor all the four Federal Government Social Investment Programmes which are meant to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians. We have N-Power, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP), National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) and Condition Cash Transfer.
‘The federal government is reaching out to the less privileged people and the minister is looking at how to improve the programmes so that it can work effectively for members of the society.
‘Based on the lessons learned, we decided that it is good to give the public a chance to monitor the programmes which are run through the ministry and because the beneficiaries are from the grassroot, we have decided to deploy the use of independent monitors who are not working under the ministry but are representative of their communities.’
She noted that the independent monitors would be representing their communities and ensure that the beneficiaries of the programme are getting the required succour from the federal government, particularly the school children for the school feeding programme at rural communities.
‘For Plateau State, we have 98 independent monitors and they are chosen based on where they are residing, they are going to be empowered to go round whether in school for school feeding or people who are beneficiaries of other programmes to ensure that the right thing is done and they will be reporting back to us on weekly and monthly basis as the case may be.
‘If we say we have 10 people from a community who are beneficiaries, the independent monitors are there to confirm whether they are getting the services or not, if we say we are doing school feeding, these people have the right to go and confirm whether it is been done or not. This was initiated to improve on the programme.’
The representative of Plateau State Government and State Focal person, Dr Sumaya Hamzah, said the introduction of the Indpendent Monitors would ensure effective ectimplementation of the programme.
‘The introduction of the independent monitors will make everybody to sit up particularly those at the grassroot. If you are in N-Power in a school, you must be up and doing, if you supply food to school, you must be there to do it as of when due through a state menu that has been establishment, so we want to see improvement,’ she stated.