By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja House of Representatives has passed for second reading a bill seeking to provide a legal framework for the establishment of the National Social Investment Programme, NSIP.
The bill is sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, Hon. Ahmed Idris, Hon. Mansur Manu Soro and 9 other lawmakers.
It may be recalled that several social intervention programmes have been provided by the federal government under the present administration.
The programmes included the N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer, Home-Grown School Feeding Market Moni and Trader-Moni.
Essentially, the programmes were aimed at reducing unbearable social condition and economic discomfort largely induced by unemployment,
especially among youths with resultant poverty.
Also read: UNICAL: Facts about the unapproved programmes and the downgrading of affected students to 200 level The bill is titled “A Bill for an Act to Provide a Legal Framework for Establishment of National Social Investment Programmes for the Assistance and Empowerment of the Poor and Vulnerable in Nigeria; and to Establish the National Social Investment Programmes Coordination Office within the Federal Ministry Responsible for Social Development to Manage the Implementation of the Programmes and National Social Investments Trust Fund to Alleviate Poverty among Vulnerable Nigerian Citizens through Targeted Programmes for the Aged, Infirm, Unemployed and Students; and for Related Matters (HBs. 1153 and 907).
Speaking on the general principle of the bill on behalf of his colleagues at Wednesday plenary, Hon. Manu Soro said the none existence of an institutional framework necessitated the bill.
“In spite of their significance as sources of empowerment and human capital development, there seems to be a non-existing institutional framework established by law to coordinate the activities of the various programmes.
“This gap affects their purpose of establishment, capacity to deliver their mandate within time and inability to impact on transforming
the lives of the teeming expected beneficiaries.
“Against this background, this Bill is proposed to address this looming gap through the establishment of a trust fund that will not only facilitate effective coordination of the multiple investment programmes but will also guarantee their sustainability beyond the administration responsible for the laudable initiative.”
The objectives of the bill included the establishment of a Trust Fund with an effective governing board and management team to administer and co-ordinate the implementation of social investment programme; ensuring the attainment of the objectives of the programmes; facilitation of the realisation of socio-economic security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government; ensuring justice, equity and fairness in the distribution and disbursement of benefits among targeted beneficiaries irrespective of geographical location, sex, ethnic, religious or tribal considerations.
Others were the facilitation of effective inter-governmental relationship in the administration of the programmes.
The bill has 24 clauses with a schedule to make provisions for the establishment of the Fund, powers, functions, target beneficiaries, financial provisions, miscellaneous provisions and schedules.
It received the support of the majority of the members when subjected to a voice vote by Speaker Gbajabiamila and passed.
Vanguard News Nigeria