The National Social Protection Forum (NSPF), a coalition of civil society organizations working on social protection in Nigeria, has called for a full investigation into the National Social Investment Program (NSIP).
The group also called for the reinstatement of the NSIP as soon as the investigations are completed.
In a press release signed by the National Coordinator, Dr Taiwo Benson, the Group commended the President for the prompt response in suspending officers who were accused of being involved in the mismanagement of funds meant for the effective and efficient implementation of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs).
The Group noted that “no public servant, no matter how highly placed, should be spared from facing the full wrath of the law if the outcome of the investigation indicts him or her.”
“Worthy of note is that Nigerians will use the investigation of this high-profile corruption allegations to assess Mr. President’s stance on corruption.”
NSPF appealed that the investigation of the national social investment programs should be an unbiased process that will ensure that, going forward, social intervention programmes work exactly as intended, to the benefit of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
The suspension, though commendable, will no doubt affect crucial programs such as N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer, Government Enterprise and Empowerment, and Home-Grown School Feeding, potentially causing devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the beneficiaries in the interim.
The NSPF added, “we are recommending the lifting of the suspension of the NSIP as soon as the investigations are completed.”
As a network of civil society organizations working on social protection, NSPF assured that it is committed to monitoring the situation and advocating for the rights and welfare of poor and vulnerable Nigerians, who deserve to benefit from the NSIP as a social contract between the government and the people.
The Group thereafter urged the President to strengthen the implementation of social investment programmes by setting up a strong grievance redress mechanism and involving CSOs in the third-party monitoring of the interventions for transparency, accountability, and efficiency.