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Reps consider establishing trust fund for N-Power, cash transfer, school feeding programmes

A bill seeking to establish a national social investment trust fund has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

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The bill considered at Tuesday’s plenary session was sponsored by 12 lawmakers.

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Among the initiatives covered under the proposed fund include N-Power, conditional cash transfer (CCT), homegrown school feeding as well as government enterprise and empowerment programme (GEEP).

The programmes were part of what the Buhari administration set up under the national social investments programmes (NSIP) to tackle poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.

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The new bill seeks to establish a trust fund “with effective governing board and management team to administer and co-ordinate the implementation of the social investment programmes.”

Mansur Soro, the lead sponsor who is from Bauchi state, said it will create a legal institutional framework which will improve the efficiency of the programmes.

“These programmes are basically aimed at reducing unbearable social condition and economic discomfort largely induced by unemployment, especially among youths with resultant poverty,” he said.

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“In spite of their significance as sources of empowerment and human capital development, there seems to be non-existing institutional framework established by law to coordinate the activities of the various programmes.

“This gap affects their purpose of establishment, capacity to deliver their mandate within time and inability to impact on transforming the lives of the teeming expected beneficiaries.

Soro added that the bill would also address the “looming gap” in the social investment programmes and also help to “guarantee their sustainability” beyond the current administration.

“It will ensure justice, equity and fairness in the distribution and disbursement of benefits among targeted beneficiaries irrespective of geographical location, sex, ethnic, religious or tribal considerations,” he said.

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