Nigeria’s Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo stressed the importance of the social investment program established by the current regime led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Social Investment Programs (SIP), also known as the National Social Investment Program, were established by the federal government in 2015 as a social protection initiative, under the leadership of the National Social Investment Office. At first it was said that it was created for an equitable distribution of wealth and resources to all people.
The NSIP has four different programs under its umbrella, which are available to all Nigerian citizens. The first is the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), the objective of which is to provide targeted cash transfers to vulnerable families, with the long-term goal of lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty. In this program, a cash amount of 5,000 N is given to households in areas affected by poverty, with an additional amount of 5,000 N to those considered priority or in extreme cases.
NSIP is also home to the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP), whose main objective is to provide financial support to countries at the bottom of the financial pyramid. This program provides low-cost microcredit to more than one million women, young entrepreneurs and farmers.
Also under NSIP is the popular Npower program, which aims to equip young Nigerians with skills while providing them with funds that would help them apply the skills they have learned in their businesses. Finally, NSIP is home to the Home Grown School Feeding Program (HGSF) which was created to provide a balanced meal to more than 5.5 million schoolchildren. Another goal of the program at the start was to reduce the dropout rate by encouraging school attendance.
Vice President Osinbajo described these programs as a multi-pronged approach to wealth creation and poverty reduction. This means that the programs look at multiple angles from which they will help improve the economic situation of Nigerians.
Osinbajo said CCT currently affects 8.9 million households and 37.7 million individuals across the country. He then said that GEEP had granted nearly 3 million loans worth around 38 billion naira to traders and small entrepreneurs across the country.
If these programs work as the federal government sees fit, poverty levels in the country will drop significantly.