Social Investment Agency Act, ‘Buhari’s parting gift for millions of poor Nigerians,’ says ANEEJ
…Urges Tinubu to fund the new Agency.
ABUJA, NIGERIA. May 24, 2023… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has lauded the outgoing President, Muhammadu Buhari for signing the National Social Investment Programme Agency Bill into law before the end of his administration, describing it as a ‘good parting gift for millions of poor Nigerians.’
Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor gave the commendation in an official reaction to the signing of the National Social Investment Agency Bill into law as disclosed by an aid to the President, Bashir Ahmad, on Monday.
“ANEEJ is happy that President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Bill before the end of his tenure and we strongly believe that the NSIA Act will remain a lasting legacy of the Buhari administration as the agency will be directly responsible for lifting millions of Nigerians out of multidimensional poverty.
“We also want to use this opportunity to call on the incoming administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to consider adequate funding of the agency as one of his government’s low hanging fruits to drive poverty out of Nigeria,” Ugolor stated.
The ANEEJ helmsman noted with gladness that the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, the N-Power Programme, the National Home -grown school feeding programme of the Federal Government would be sustained beyond the lifespan of the present administration given this development.
ANEEJ has been implementing two key projects: the Monitoring Transparency and Accountability of Returned Assets (MANTRA) and Enhancing Social Protection Programme in Nigeria (ESPPIN) projects which centre on tracking returned $322.5million Abacha loot from Switzerland being disbursed to poor Nigerians through conditional cash transfer programme of the federal government as well as advocating for the passage of the National Social Investment Agency Bill through both projects respectively.
ANEEJ in December last year, issued a press statement, calling on the National Assembly to pass the National Social Investment Agency Bill even as it submitted a position paper to the Senate Committee during the Senate public hearing articulating its positions and observations on the Bill before its eventual passage.
It could be recalled that In November 2022, Buhari wrote to the National Assembly requesting the passage of the executive bill.
The upper and lower legislative chambers subsequently worked on the bill and transmitted it to the president for his assent.
The national social investment programme (NSIP) was created in 2015 by the Buhari administration to ensure the equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth, and women.
The programmes under the NSIP that are now backed by the new Act include:
- N-Power programme — an initiative aimed at building the skills of youth and promoting entrepreneurship.
- Government enterprise and empowerment programme (GEEP) — an intervention to address the challenges of access to credit facilities and to provide soft loans to Nigerians through the trader moni, market moni and farmer moni initiatives.
- National home-grown school feeding programme (NHGSFP) — an initiative to provide one nutritious meal a day to public primary school pupils to increase school enrolment, reducing the incidence of malnutrition.
- Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme — an initiative to provide cash transfers to vulnerable households as grants.
ANEEJ’s ESPPIN project is being implemented at the National level and in five states namely: Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Anambra and Ekiti. It is advocating for reforms that would guarantee social protection for poor Nigerians through the ESPPIN project.