RE: Humanitarian Affairs Minister Refuses To Approve School Feeding Program Payment For Lagos, Imo, Kogi and Benue States
Our attention has been drawn to an Exclusive Story by Sahara Reporters written on the 25th of December, 2019 on the alleged Failure of; The Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs to approve payments for school feeding in some states and Npower Stipends for October/November 2019.
It is pertinent to note that the story is unwarranted or unfounded
The Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiyya Farouq, assumed office, she had gone about handling the transition of the affairs of the Social Investment Programmes from the Presidency to the new Ministry, with the support of the programme administrators and the Cluster Heads.
During this period, she has had to receive briefings from the NSIO and the different clusters concerning the implementation and status of the programmes, successes and challenges. Where she needs additional information, she has sought further clarification in a bit to ensure that the implementation process fulfills the intended mandates of the SIPs.
It should be noted that the former accounting Ministry, which is the ministry of Budget and National Planning has to put on hold all processes of payments after the presidential instruction of the movement of the SIP. Hence, the need for new procedures and policy guidelines inline with the public service rules needs to be set up in the new ministry unfortunately, these briefings delayed payments.
However the issues and briefings on procedures has been resolved and payment had continued unhindered.
Regarding the delay in the stipends of N-Power volunteers for two months (October and November), the Hounourable Minister, in a Press Conference on the 2nd of December 2019 explained the reason behind the delay, and also pledged that beneficiaries would receive their backlog payments on or before December 20th, 2019. This was done.
These actions clearly indicate that, contrary to what some media houses are putting out, the Honourable Minister is not acting in any inimical manner toward the Programme. She has cleared all request that have to do with payments of vendors and stipends that has reached her table.
The Honorable Minister and the National Social Investments Programme are focused towards using the SIPs as an impactful tool towards actualizing the President’s mandate to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
Barr. Ismaeel Ahmed
Social Investments Programme