The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has flagged off the distribution of Tablets and engagement letters to 128 trained Independent Monitors in Abuja.
The flag off which took place at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre Abuja on Thursday was described as one of the National Social Investment Programmes aimed at monitoring all the SIPs under the ministry, including the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).
While launching the Social Investment Management Information System (SIMIS) Application, the Minister said that the flag off will be replicated in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.“Today I am here to flag off the distribution of Engagement Letters and Devices for the Trained Independent Monitors. “These Devices are equipped with an application that will be used to report on monitoring activities of the trained Independent Monitors.
“The Application, which we called the Social Investment Management Information System (SIMIS), is a mobile and web-based Application designed for Monitoring the National Social Investment Programme. “Using this Application, the Ministry sees real time report of activities of the Independent Monitors on the Field. We can view reports submitted and see the NSIP performance indicators by state and detect areas of challenges. “For example, under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, we can see where feeding has taken place and where there is no feeding happening. This will provide greater visibility to the Ministry and equip us with information to follow up with implementation happening at the state level,” the minister highlighted.
Umar Farouq charged the Independent Monitors to be diligent, upright and accurate in their assignment.
“The Independent Monitors are expected to monitor a designated number of beneficiaries of the National Social Investment Programme. They will be paid a monthly stipend of N30,000 and they must meet up to 80% of their deliverables monthly to be eligible for their stipend.
“Please be informed that Independent Monitors are not allowed to assign their responsibilities to third parties. Every independent monitor will be held accountable by the Ministry for the task given to them. The Ministry reserves the right to disengage an Independent Monitor for misconduct or noncompliance with set guidelines and directives. “I hereby urge you to carry out this assignment with outmost sense of patriotism, diligence and sincerity,” she said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Bashir Nura Alkali, had said that adequate monitoring was essential to achieving the set goals and objectives of each of the NSIP programmes.
“The Ministry believes that the engagement of Independent Monitors for NSIP therefore is one of the strategies to ensure these programmes achieve desired results. While the engagement of Independent Monitors is not new, we at the Ministry have reviewed the modalities and designed a more robust and proactive strategy to monitor the Programmes. “The Independent Monitors will monitor programme beneficiaries within their locality in schools, households, and market clusters on a routine basis using a standardized reporting tool which we have made available in hard copy as well as electronically,” he said.
There was also an overview and demonstration by the Special Assistant to the President on Monitoring and Evaluation, Fatiya Askerin, on how the Tablet will be used by the Independent Monitors.
The National Coordinator NSIP Dr Umar Bindir also congratulated the Independent Monitors while wishing them the best in their endeavors.
Out of the 5000 shortlisted Independent Monitors, 4452 were trained across the country.
Their scope of work includes routine monitoring of all programmes under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in their assigned LGA, provision of evidence-based report on findings in the field, Submission of various categories of reports in accordance with the set timelines , attending all trainings and meetings as required by the Ministry and other duties that may be assigned by the Ministry.