NASSP institutional arrangement is designed to ensure compatibility and synergy with other safety nets programs, which can be federal-level, state-level or other interventions. This institutional arrangement involves both the oversight and the coordination functions. The National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) was established under the Office of the Vice President to coordinate social safety nets programs in the country.
The main oversight function for NASSP rests with the Vice President of Nigeria, with a statutory body called the National Steering Committee (NSC) actively performing the function. The NSC is a multi-sectorial and inter-ministerial body for policy and oversight of NASSP chaired by the Vice President. Membership includes Ministers of relevant MDAs with social safety net mandates and those with a technical mandate in the implementation of NASSP, representatives of the national legislature, organised private sector and civil society. The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments is the Political Head, reporting directly to the Vice President, who provides policy direction, coordination and oversight of NASSCO as well as all Social Investment programs.
Similarly, a National Technical Committee (NTC), was set up and mandated with the responsibility for reviewing the budget and work plan of NASSP to ensure synergy amongst projects for better optimization of resources. The NTC provide sectorial technical guidance into NASSP delivery; establish a mechanism for use of lessons/information from NASSP to facilitate delivery of MDAs; and establish standard relationships with partners both within and outside of government.
NASSCO key objectives are:
* Integrating, harmonising and coordinating social safety nets program,
* Provide guidance on the framework for administration and management systems for supporting the poor and vulnerable; and
* Ensuring policy coherence in the social protection sector.
The core responsibilities of NASSCO include the following:
* Create synergy across programs for optimization of use of resources and impact;
* Coordinate and consolidate information from the various social safety net programs;
* Facilitate and support State Operations Coordinating Units (SOCUs) to conduct identification and registration of Poor and Vulnerable Households (PVHHs)
* Establish and facilitate the use of the NSR
* Generate knowledge to inform policy and programming (e.g. livelihoods, knowledge management)
* Ensure efficient communication and facilitate knowledge management and experience sharing;
* Facilitate implementation of National Steering Committee (NSC) decisions across programs;
* Disseminate and publish social safety net policies and guidelines; and
* Provide appropriate links between government, development partners, private sectors and NGOs on social safety nets.
NASSP Relationship with the States
Given the multi-sectoral nature of social protection, governments at various level are increasingly establishing mechanisms and bodies to enhance coordination across institutions, ministries and functions. Social safety net programs often involve a range of ministries and sectors for program implementation, especially in the case of conditional transfers. Coordination is key when coordinating systems functions. For this purpose, NASSCO as the coordinating organ of NASSP has set down protocols for engagement.
NASSP is open to all states of the federation, international development partners and their affiliates, and community development initiatives.
As a first step towards establishing a unified database system of poor and vulnerable households, the Federal government requires that States to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NASSCO to establish common areas of partnership and guide project delivery. The MoU contains the minimum requirements and defines the roles and responsibilities of States and LGAs. (Text of the MoU is available in Annex I.)
State Engagement with NASSP
State engagement with NASSP is subject to the following three requirements:
1-Signing of MoU with NASSCO. (Annex I)
2-Setting up a State Operations Coordinating Unit (SOCU) and a State Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU), including:
* Agreed capacities and positions to be internally advertised with interviews guiding identification and deployment of staff;
* Provision of office and equipment (by State government), ensuring basic facilities computers, internet access, security etc.; and
* Verification and assessment of staff, office space and equipment of SOCU and SCTU to be undertaken by NASSCO/NCTO to ensure minimum requirements are met.
3-SOCU to be domiciled in the ministry responsible for planning and SCTU in agreement with NCTO in an MDA as defined by the state government.
4-State Governments approved poverty ranking as developed by the NBS is shared with NASSCO.
5-Constitution of CBT and CTFs teams by the Local Government in line with NASSCO and NCTO guidelines respectively.
Project Oversight at the State Government Level
The success of the program rests largely on obtaining the buy-in of the states. Incentives for State participation will be introduced through full Federal financing for building the social register of the PVHHs and the targeted cash transfers, as well as State-level costs related to targeting. Project oversight rests with the SOCU in collaboration with the relevant States’ departments. The specific roles of the state planning organs are to: facilitate the establishment of SOCU with a full complement of staff as per NASSCO guidelines (that is, officers are engaged after state-wide internal advertisement for positions, candidates are interviewed, and recommendations are made to NASSCO for review and clearance before deployment); provide office and equipment; confirm poverty ranking of LGAs and selection of the poorest as per information shared by NASSCO; provide technical guidance to SOCU; and interface with the LGAs, amongst others.