The National Social Investment Office (NSIO) has said that contrary to rumours, the office of Vice President was not involved in financial transactions or the disbursement of funds for the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIPs)
A statement by the NSIO Communications Manager, Justice Bibiye, said that the Ministry of Budget and National Planning is in charge of all matters regarding financing, budgeting, procurement and disbursement of funds allocated and released for the N-SIPs.
According to the statement, the N-SIPs, which involves four broad programmes (N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfers, National Home-Grown School Feeding and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programmes), are uniquely targeted towards different subgroups of Nigerians for empowerment.
“The Steering Committee for the NSIO, chaired by the Vice President, supervises the implementation of the SIPs, The Steering Committee comprises 9 Ministers, including that of Finance; Education; Health; Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs; Labour and Productivity; Information; with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning as the Secretariat. The Steering Committee meets regularly for updates, to review, advise, guide and approve the processes of the N-SIPs,” it said.
“Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) beneficiaries are identified by members of the communities themselves, through a tripartite method, which includes technology, for objectively and scale. At commencement, the World Bank community-based targeting process was adopted to assure of community ownership of the process.
“The Bank of Industry (BOI) manages the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which provides collateral and interest-free financial support to businesses at the bottom of the financial pyramid, through its MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni schemes. The payment process is also transparent”.
It explained that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo only goes round markets in the states where the TraderMoni scheme is launched to engage with beneficiaries, but he is not involved in the disbursement of loans, whether in cash or through cash transfers.
Read the full statement below.
The funds allocated and released for the financing of the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIPs) of the Buhari administration have been domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning from inception, and not in the Office of the Vice President or anywhere in the Presidency.
The decision was taken very early in the implementation of the N-SIPs when President Muhammadu Buhari asked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to oversee the schemes. The Vice President then instructed that, while the coordination of the scheme would be led by the Presidency through the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) under the Office of the Vice President (OVP), all matters regarding financing, budgeting, procurement and disbursement should be done by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
Consequently, that Ministry commenced the management of the financial components of the N-SIPs. The Ministry also serves as the Secretariat of the Steering Committee that supervised the programme coordination, also responsible for presenting memos about the schemes each time that was required at the Federal Executive Council.
This clarification is important amidst insinuations in some quarters regarding the amounts budgeted and released for N-SIPs, following media reports on the alleged involvement of the Vice President in financial matters. It can be categorically said that His Excellency, the VP Yemi Osinbajo has never been involved in any of such financial transactions.
The Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes is the largest social investment programme in Nigeria’s history. Four broad programmes (N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfers, National Home-Grown School Feeding and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programmes) are under the N-SIPs, each uniquely targeting different subgroups of Nigerians for empowerment.
The design of the N-SIP structure never envisaged the awarding of contracts by the NSIO. Consequently, the procurement and disbursement of funds for the N-SIPs have never been done in the Office of the Vice President. Indeed, the National Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), being the custodian of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) server, supports the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) as its Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) In that capacity, NIBSS has facilitated the authentication of the unique identities of all our beneficiaries, before payment. The process adopted has been that the National Social investment Office merely provides the schedules of beneficiaries, comprising their names and banking details, to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, who, as custodian of the funds, transmits the amounts slated, depending on the programme needs, directly to the beneficiary accounts, through the NIBSS.