National Social Investment Programme is being Rejigged, Not Rejected - Betta Edu

The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, has restated the President Tinubu led administration's decision to rejig and expand the National Social Investment Programme.

The minister made this known in a televised interview with TVC News on Friday.

According to Dr Edu, "the National Social Investment Programme is being rejigged. We are changing a lot of things. We are bringing in New innovations, taking off what did not work, and we are expanding the scope to be more robust and cover more Nigerians.

"So it's a complete overhaul of the system to ensure that it's more accountable, more transperant, and covers more Nigerians and even more from what we will be getting from the Trust Fund."

Dr Edu made the speech while responding to the Interviewer's question on how her ministry intends to utilise the N500 Billion annually allocated by the Federal Government for the National Social Investment Programmes.

The minister's statement was however misinterpreted by Npower beneficiaries who had claimed NSIP including Npower has been rejected by Mr President.

The word "rejig" as used by the Minister means to "re-equip", "re-arrange", or re-organise. It does not in any way translate to Npower being scrapped, ended, dissolved or rejected.

The Minister has made new fits in the Poverty Alleviation Programme in order to ensure that the plans of the new administration in relieving the sufferings of millions of poor Nigerians become a reality.

Among the most recent is a meeting held by the Minister and the World Bank Country Director, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, in Abuja on Thursday.

The issues discussed in the meeting include the Renewed Hope Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund (HPATF). The Trust Fund will be funded through Federal Government budgetary allocation, Development partners, international community, taxes, private sector contribution etc. Also, the Minister solicited for partnership with the Ministry on preparations to host Humanitarian Dialogue.

The minister sought the support of World bank to verify and expand the National Social Register (NSR). She also urged them to offer their technical support in order to work with the Ministry to achieve Mr President’s target.In response, the World Bank Country Director affirmed to provide all needed support for the Honourable Minister to deliver on the new focus of the Ministry.

"The proposed disbursement of $800M for the Social Safety Nets Project will commence soonest.

"We will support the verification and scaling up of the National Social Register, provide technical support in the preparation of the Ministry to attend UNGA and give specialized backing for the establishment of the Trust Fund" Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri assured.

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This involves the expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) to accommodate 15 Million Nigerians under the programme.

In due time, the Npower Programme will also be expanded to undertake new beneficiaries. Batch C2 Npower beneficiaries should note their Programme has not ended. Batch C1 Npower Programme has however ended.

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