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NASS to regulate social investment programmes

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NIGERIA’S National Assembly is seeking a bill to regulate the social welfare and intervention programmes of the Federal Government.

  The proposal is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish National Social Investments Trust Fund to Alleviate Poverty among Vulnerable Nigerian Citizens through Targeted Programmes for the Aged, Infirmed, Unemployed and Students; and for Related Matters,’ already slated for second reading at the House of Representatives.

  The National Social Investment Programme is currently domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

  Though the bill was listed for a second reading on Wednesday, it was, along with other items on the Order Paper, stepped down till another legislative day.

  The bill was sponsored by Mansur Soro, the 33-year-old lawmaker representing Darazo/Ganjuwa Federal Constituency in Bauchi State.

  The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had earlier in May 2020, said the parliament would soon introduce a bill that would define who a poor Nigerian is and how to benefit from the federal government’s NSIPs.

  He had stated that the move was to legalise the NSIPs and codify the programmes.

  Gbajabiamila, while speaking at an online interactive session (webinar) organised by the Emmanuel Chapel on Sunday, stated that the House was now ready to review the SIPs.

  The legislative and executive arms of the Federal Government had clashed over how palliatives were being disbursed to Nigerians considered to be poor.

  The leadership of the National Assembly on April 7, 2020, faulted the NSIPs and how it was implemented, noting that the conditions set by officials most times excluded poor Nigerians for which the initiative was intended.

  The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House had expressed their observations about the NSIPs when they met with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, and other top officials of the ministry, to review government’s palliatives to Nigerians.

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