Nigeria: Senate moves to amend NSIPG Act, wants social investment programme under President’s supervision

The Nigeria’s Senate, on Tuesday, commenced the process of amending the National Social Investment Programme Agency Act of 2023.

The bill, introduced by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, seeks to relocate the agency from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the Presidency.

Senator Bamidele’s proposal targets Sections 9(3), 14(1), 21(1), 22(1), 26(1), and 33 of the NSIPA Act, 2023, with the intention of effecting this transfer.

According to him, the bill “will now be directly under the direct supervision of the President.”

Explaining its significance to poverty alleviation and social inclusion, Bamidele said the proposed amendment to the NSIPA Act, 2023 “is to ensure that the social investment programme are standard, transparent, effective and accountable.”

He explained that the amendment “is a result of the commitment of the Renewed Hope mantra of President Bola Tinubu in ensuring that social investment programme are the standard, transparent, effective and accountable structure of delivery, adequate coordination and synergy among key government agencies.”

The lawmaker representing Yobe North, Ahmad Lawan, pointed out that the 9th Senate passed the bill, though its implementation was flawed.

Lawan said, “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 that the National Assembly is satisfied.”

Senator Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa West) urged the lawmakers to use the opportunity to look at other issues raised during its implementation under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the previous government had initiatives like TraderMoni and COVID-19 palliatives without parliamentary approval and those recommendations should be made at the committee level.

After the deliberation, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, referred the bill to the Committee of the Whole for consideration on Wednesday to allow senators to go through the bill clause by clause.