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HomeArticleSADIYA UMAR FAROUK: THE VILLIFIED HEROIN by Mamman Nasir

SADIYA UMAR FAROUK: THE VILLIFIED HEROIN by Mamman Nasir

#Zulum238Projects #Term2 Focus: Education (54 Projects) Zulum's 5th year in office, consolidating on sterling 4 years of the first tenure. “1,195 Projects and Counting.” Series on 238 projects in the first year of the second tenure of Governor Zulum.

For the more than sixty years of self-governance in Nigeria, there had never been a government that brings out multiple, fantastic and workable social security net for the citizenry, like the Buhari administration between 2016-2023. And the appointment of Sadiya Umar Farouk as the first substantive Minister of the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs was indeed a noteworthy watershed moment, given the immense weight and responsibilities of the office, viz-a-viz her accumulated cognate experience in the area of humanitarian intervention as the erstwhile Federal Commissioner and Head of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, which she has commendably brought to bear in nurturing the young Ministry to its present level.

As part of the efforts to institutionalize the programmes, President Buhari transferred the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which was hitherto implemented under the office of His Excellency the Vice President, to the Ministry.

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The debilitating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, both served as a challenge and opportunity in testing the rolled-out initiatives and their impact on the poor masses across the six-geopolitical zones. NSIP is considered the biggest social protection and poverty eradication programme ever put in place by any Government in the history of Nigeria and has indeed been attested to be the most ambitious in Africa by many. The Executive Governors, irrespective of political affiliations across the 36 States and the FCT, have established partnership and coordination mechanisms for the effective implementation of the programmes as firm partnerships have been entered into with several public institutions (MDAs), which ensures effectiveness of implementation and sustainability of the NSIP. These institutions include; National Orientation Agency (NOA), National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Federal and States Universal Basic Education (UBEC & SUBEBs), including many Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs), as well as Multilateral and Bilateral International Development Partners/Development Partner Groups (DPGs), amongst others.

The NSIP is composed of the following integrated clusters of projects:

N-Power: The key function of the N-Power programme is to reduce unemployment in the youth demography of the country. The programme was envisioned to be a skill to job intervention that will improve services delivery across targeted sectors in the Nigerian economy.

This has enabled the N-Power programme to tackle not just unemployment but also increasing the value of service and skills in targeted sectors of the economy, and highlights the returns on the investment by the federal government. 1.5 million Graduate and over 150,000 non graduate jobs have been created.

Additionally, throughout the entire program cycles, over 75,000 indirect jobs were created from an operations, management and logistics standpoint.

Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP): The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) 2.0 is a poverty alleviation initiative aimed at advancing collateral and interest-free credit to Micro, Small and Medium-Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria under the National Social Investment Programme through its three signature schemes: Trader-Moni, Market-Moni, and Farmer-Moni.

The programme aims to provide access to credit and bring onboard, financially excluded Nigerians onto the financial sector, encourage entrepreneurship, improve business operations, and create jobs through the provision of affordable credit facilities.

GEEP is designed to reach to reach poor and under-served segments of the population, including women, low- income groups, and people with disabilities by making funding more accessible and easier to obtain.

With a focus on sustainability and social impact, the programme is expected to drive economic growth, grow financial inclusion and empower entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals
In Early 2020, the world faced a global pandemic (COVID 19), leading to an economic shutdown that significantly affected the most vulnerable poor.

The COVID intervention was initiated due to directives of President Muhammadu Buhari on the 29th of March 2020 to empower target beneficiaries of Trader-Moni with a 3-month moratorium who depended on their daily income to this effect and about 890,000 beneficiaries were paid N10,000 across the six geopolitical zones.

An implementation plan involving Federal, State and Local Government structures was designed to institutionalize the collaborative partnerships between all sectors of government.

The roadmap outlines the GEEP programme implementation process from Federal to Local Government level and how the programme will effectively reach the target beneficiaries who are vulnerable women (Market-Moni), enterprising youths (Trader-Moni) and rural farmers (Farmer-Moni) leveraging on the National Orientation Agency’s Community Orientation and Mobilization officers (COMOs) who are domiciled in each of the 774 LGAs nationwide to serve as the GEEP Desk Officers (GEEP DO’s) in the Local Government Offices.

These officers are responsible for carrying out community sensitization drives about the GEEP activities such as registration and enumeration. The totall number of people registered during the 1st phase of registration was 1,142,678.

National Home – Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP):
The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) was established in 2016 to feed Public Primary School Pupils. The benefiting pupils are provided with one free nutritious food per day with the sole aim of increasing school enrolment and attendance and improving health and educational outcomes.

The programme uses farm produce, locally grown by smallholder farmers to provide nutritious meals to the children on every school day. The programme links local farmers to the education sector by facilitating their access to the school feeding market.

The implementation of the NHGSFP is core at the state level under the leadership of the State NSIP Focal Person (FP) and the NHGSFP Program Manager (PM). from Primary 1-3, to encourage the enrolment of children into public primary schools in the 36 States of the Federation and FCT, thereby reducing the number of out-of-school children it has created a ready market for smallholder farmers and links agriculture to the education system, thereby strengthening the food value chain by connecting farmers to markets, which supports an increase in production of nutritious food at inception, a total of 61 kitchens were built in the first phase of the F2K Initiative across the six Geo-Political zones in Nigeria in 2022.

The second phase of the F2K Initiative commenced in 2023, with additional 58 new kitchens being constructed across the Geo-Political zones of the country and these kitchens are presently at various stages of completion.

The NHGSFP has successfully been implemented across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. The number of school children that have befitted from the school feeding programme across the nation from 2019 – 2023 stands at 47,553,525 and has increased school enrollment across the country.

The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT).EP): The CCT programme provides the structure of financing cash transfers to targeted poor and vulnerable households mined from the NSR, delivering regular and reliable transfers in a way that is accessible to beneficiaries and with benefit levels that are consistent with project objectives Cash Transfers.

The programme provides monthly Base Cash Transfer of N5, 000 to targeted poor and vulnerable households with the sole aim of smoothening consumption.

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Conditional Cash Transfers – An additional N5,000 known as Top-up is given to eligibility beneficiaries as an incentive to demand for basic services in the area of health, education, nutrition and environment with a view to enhance human capital development.

The livelihood component aims at increasing beneficiaries’ income, encourage enterprise mindset, improve food security and asset acquisition.

A one-off livelihood grant will be given to selected household with a productive member to establish micro business and ensure sustainable livelihood and facilitate their graduation out of program.

The Cash Transfer Program has enrolled 1,975,381 Poor and Vulnerable Households from the National Social Register (NSR) into the National Beneficiary Register (NBR). The NBR has 9,841,700 Household Individuals in 36 States and FCT.

Each of the four programmes (N-Power, GEEP, School Feeding and CCT) has been carefully designed and tailored to address specific socio-economic challenges and protect Nigerians from poverty, economic shocks and social vulnerabilities.

This is designed to be realised by increasing the income and livelihood of the poor and vulnerable households, reducing youth unemployment, increasing human capital development (increasing access to education and health services, eradicating malnutrition in school age children). and providing affordable credit for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), while stimulating economic growth of the country.

The Ministry is also involved in a joint programme, the Alternate School Program (ASP) with The Federal Ministry of Education. The ASP is designed to bridge the gap of access to quality education for out-of-school-children (OOSC) in Nigeria. It provides basic education in a flexible manner to children without access to formal education who are engaged in: vocational/religious education; economic/market activities; and children without either activity e.g., children in IDP settlements.

The ASP is part of a wider drive to break the cycle of poverty for young children in vulnerable populations by providing education as a pathway to a sustainable living in the long-term.

Additionally, it serves towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG-4 by the year 2030.

After the inauguration of the program in 2021 by the President, 2 hubs were created, making a total of 76 hubs in the 36 states of the Federation. The programme had so far in its score sheet:

• Establishment of 2 Boreholes in each State – 74 Boreholes in 36 States and the FCT

• Establishment of 4 VIP Toilets in each Hub – 148 VIP Toilets in 36 States and the FCT

• Provision of Learning Materials (Paper and Digital) in EACH HUB.

• Provision of Twice Daily Meals to ASP intended beneficiaries.

• Provision of jobs for women within their communities as cooks for the programme.
There are a minimum of 5 cooks in each ASP community.

• Involvement of community members in the design of the programme

• Data Capture of Intended Beneficiaries and ASP Service providers

In its vision to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, the Federal Government under the supervision of Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD) under the stewardship of Sadiya Umar Farouk also rolled out the Grant for Rural Women (GRW) which was designed to provide a one-off cash grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural and peri-urban areas of the country.

A cash grant of N20,000.00 was disbursed to poor women and men across the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) implementation of the GVG programme.

All the programmes aforementioned, for transparency and accountability were under the Monitoring and Evaluation unit that monitors each programme at different level with different stakeholders including NGO/CSO, Government officials and Federal, State and Local Government level and also Engaged Independent Monitors and Consultants.

The different NSIP programme are monitored on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis depending on programme implementation cycle and monitoring plan at the different centers, communities, business area etc. by the engaged Independent Monitors.

The Independent Monitors who are engaged from the different local government in the country are tasked with the responsibilities of ensuring that programme is well monitored, data well collected and reported via an online platform to the monitoring and evaluation unit of the NSIP.

The NSIP ICT is setup for internal support around proper management and coordination of the shared infrastructures services, applications and any other systems the NSIP may use to effectively coordinate the social investment programs.

The purpose of the unit is to ensure that all existing and future technology developed for the NSIP are optimally utilized by the relevant end users to make the program run more effectively and to provide operational support in terms of driving compliance with ICT standards, policies and guidelines prescribed by the Ministry in line with best practices.

Considering the critical role of the Ministry in delivering prompt, effective and lasting relief to victims of humanitarian challenges as well as ensuring the smooth implementation of the National Social Investment Programme, the need to have a highly efficient communication infrastructure for the Ministry cannot be over emphasized.

The Communication plan deployed for the Ministry is therefore designed to provide an efficient communication and messaging strategy.

This is aimed at effective and consistent public engagement and communication interface with its various publics and the general public.

Therefore, the Ministry created and disseminates content across multiple channels viz Print and Electronic media.

Documentaries, in both English and other Nigerian languages were produced and aired across some of the major television stations in the country like the NTA, AIT, TVC, ARISE, CHANNELS etc.

Likewise, online social media contents were created and promoted in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and engages audience.

Billboards were also deployed in all parts of the country to convey a sense of urgency, and are important to pass key messages, early warning messages, disaster communication and advisories.

3D electronic billboards powered 24/7 in Lagos, Abuja, Rivers and Kano states.

In a nutshell, Sadiya Umar Farouk, based on her cognate experience as the Federal Commissioner for Refugee Commission earned her appointment as one of the youngest female ministers of the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian affairs in 2019.

Since assumption office, the ministry has unrolled unprecedented social security programmes that impacted lives and livelihood of over 20 million Nigerians by the end of her tenure in 2023.

In recognition of her contributions towards national development, various institutions had conferred her with awards which includes: The National Honor of CON, Africa’s Leading woman in Humanitarian service award, Nigeria Excellence award in Public Service, Nigeria Humanitarian response to Covid-19 Award, Dususu Gender Minister Award, Merit Award from Yusif Maitama Sule University and AN Excellence Award from Kano University.

Should this Amazon, Sadiya Umar Farouk, as the first substantive minister of Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, showered with such accolades for her committed role in nation building through social security safety nets, deserves vilification or our veneration?

Nasir wrote from Utako, Abuja

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