Senator Lawan said the implementation of the programmes contained in the NSIP Act was flawed as intended beneficiaries were left out.
The Senate has passed for second reading, a bill to amend the National Social Investment Programme Agency Act (NSIPA), 2023 seeking to move the agency from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the Presidency.
The Bill is titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Social Investment Programme Agency Act 2023 and for other matters connected therewith, 2023 (SB. 163).”
Presenting the Bill, the Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, noted that it seeks to amend Sections 9(3), 14(1), 21(1), 22(1), 26(1) and 33 of the NSIPA Act, 2023 by transferring the agency from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the Presidency.
The NSIP Act was created in 2016, under the administration of former President Muhammadu to address socio-economic inequalities and alleviate poverty among Nigerians.
The programme was founded on the N-POWER Programme, Government Enterprise, and Empowerment Programme, National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, and the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme.
According to Bamidele, the bill will be under the direct supervision of the President.
“The amendment is a result of the commitment of the Renewed Hope mantra of President Bola Tinubu in ensuring that social investment programmes is standard, transparent, effective, and accountable structure of delivery, adequate coordination, and synergy among key government agencies.
“It is in fulfillment of section 17(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.”
Meanwhile, the former President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) pointed out that the 9th Senate had previously passed the NSIP Act. Still, its its implementation was flawed as the intended beneficiaries, most of whom are in rural areas are difficult to reach.
He also urged the lawmakers to ensure full participation in providing complete assistance to Nigerians in need.
“In achieving social inclusion, funds were distributed, and the beneficiaries have no bank accounts. After passing this, it is time we must participate fully to ensure the capturing of the beneficiaries that need the support in such a way the National Assembly is satisfied.
“The National Assembly should be to be part of the process, but that was not done. The support was sent to each state of the federation. All senators were onlookers, which is unacceptable.”
After the deliberation, the bill was referred to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.