The Oyo State government has warned coordinators of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) to steer clear of extortion.
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Fausat Sanni, gave the warning on Thursday, in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the commissioner spoke during a day sensitisation programme for selected Grievance Redress Management Officers (GRMO) from 14 local government areas in the state.
NAN also reports that the Federal Government had approved the creation of Grievance Response Management Unit in states to address and manage conflicts that might arise in the course of the SIP programme.
The creation of the GRM units was aimed at ensuring conflict-free delivery of service between the officials and the beneficiaries of the programme.
The commissioner noted that the conflicts that usually occurred could work against the success of the programme, if urgent action was not taken.
She admonished the officials against extorting the beneficiaries of the programme, saying such could bring to naught the success envisioned by the planners and the government.
Sanni said the GRM officials would deal with grievances at the grassroots to avoid being escalated or constituting a stumbling block to the success of the programme.
“The Federal Government is ready to play its own part to possibly alleviate poverty in the country, especially among the poorest of households.
“The GRM officers should, therefore, not give room for failure, because of political influence or differences, thereby denying the state from benefiting from the programme.
“GRM will resolve conflicts which may arise from payment related issues, enrollment of beneficiaries, staff misconduct, programmme activities and the overall implementation of the programme.
“All registered grievances will be expeditiously handled and resolved within the specified time frame of 21 days.
“Do not forget that being above board is important to the success of this assignment; do not extort the beneficiaries; they were identified to be poor and need the support of government; so let this support reach them,” she said.
Earlier, the Head of Unit, State Cash Transfer, Mr Ezekiel Oladipo, said that the officers were expected to handle grievances maturely to ensure the success of the programme.
Oladipo, who warned the officers against bribery, urged them to be committed, responsible and diligent while discharging their duties.
He added, “Different NGOs and CLOs are being engaged as third party monitors by the National Safety-Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Abuja.
“They are going round the communities to meet with the beneficiaries directly for interview about the conduct, implementation programme and staff conduct among others. You should, therefore, shun all forms of extortion,” Oladipo said.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye (NAN)
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