The National Social Investment Office is the Nigerian government’s initiative to solve the country’s prevailing problems with poverty and lack of capital for small and medium scale business owners to access capital for their businesses. While you might not exactly know what the N.S.I.O is, you certainly have either seen or interacted with one of its programmes. Through social investment schemes, Trader Moni, Farmer Moni and Market Moni, The Nigerian government has provided loans and collateral for small business to hundreds of thousands of Nigerians across the country.
But as with all government programmes, N.S.I.O has struggled to ensure that the schemes aren’t subverted and the people who actually need the funding are able to access this. To do this properly, the N.S.I.O is cross collaborating with other government agencies better suited to deal with this particular problem. the organization has just announced that it is partnering with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission (ICPC), the government’s premier anti-corruption organization to reduce the incidences of misuse of public funds through the NSIO. They are launching a new Whistle-Blower hotline to allow the average Nigerian report crimes of subversion of funds or outright corruption in the N.S.I.O Programme.
The N.S.I.O’s partnership with the ICPC is a welcome development in the deployment of the social mobility programmes. Without an organization that is able to regulate the disbursement of funds and reduction of financial sinks of revenue and talent, and perhaps more people can finally profit from the scheme without worrying they will be dealt with fraudulently. We will have to wait and see how the implementation play out, but I have good premonitions about this.