By Faith Igbudu
Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Minister, Hajia Sadiya Farouk has asked Independent Monitors of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) in Benue state to be thorough in their duties and complement the efforts of the federal government at eradicating poverty.
The minister gave the charge Saturday during a training programme held in Makurdi where 119 persons were trained as independent monitors for NSIP in Benue state.
The independent monitors were selected from the 23 local government areas of the state, just as same will be dublicated in the 36 states of the federation.
According to the minister, it is necessary for the trainees to show virtues of responsibility, honesty and patriotism on their job, in order for NSIP to reach its maximum capacity in the targeted communities.
The minister, represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disaster Management, Group Capt. Sadiq Garba, said the decision to have independent monitors for NSIP is due to desire of the humanitarian ministry to ensure that the actual target audience for such programmes are not short changed.
Garba, who is also the Team Leader of NSIP for Benue, Taraba and Plateau states said: “The truth is that the poverty level in the country is so high such that federal government interventions are seen as not being enough. You people are to be witnesses to the realness of all federal government programmes which people say don’t exist.
“You are not an employee of any agency or the government so be at liberty to report anything. If you go and connive with a vendor to lie on your report, it is your community that you are cheating,” he stated.
Benue state NSIP Focal Person, Dr Terris Damsa, said “the training here today is to acquaint you with the limit and scope of your duties.”
Damsa further called on the independent monitors to see their involvement as an opportunity for national service and to understand that their role is to strengthen the programme delivery and not to cause any problem.
State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Richard Abimiku Audi admonished the trainees to take the assignment given them very seriously and connect their various communities to the activities of government.
Some beneficiaries of the training who spoke with The Voice, including Jude Kelson and Timothy Nyiyongo said, they were well equipped to effectively monitor all the four NSIP programmes to make them genuinely felt by the rural dwellers.