The Nigerian Government has formally approved the creation of a Grievance Response Management Unit in each State of the country for Social Investment Programme, as part of efforts to ensure conflict-free delivery of service.
In Oyo State, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni, urged selected to desist from extorting beneficiaries of the programme as such could bring to nought, any success that were envisioned by the planners and government.
The Commissioner gave the warning on Thursday, in Ibadan, during a one-day sensitisation training for the selected Grievance Redress Management officers from 14 local government areas in the state.
Noting that conflict constantly occurs and could jeopardise the success of the programme if urgent action was not taken, Sanni said the officers would deal with grievances at the grassroots to avoid being escalated or become a stumbling block to the success of the programme.
”Key stakeholders in the execution of the project would be enlightened on how to handle grievances in both formal and informal techniques, standard process to handle grievances, analysis and feedback from the beneficiaries, as well as basic principles in handling and managing grievances under the programme” Sanni, who doubles as the focal person for the Oyo State Social Investment Programme stated.
She said; “the Nigerian Government has been ready to play its own part to possibly alleviate poverty in the country, especially among the poorest of households. GRM officers should not give room for failure because of political influence or differences, thereby denying your state and your people from benefiting from the programme.”
She said the officers would resolve conflicts which may arise from payment-related issues, enrollment of beneficiaries, staff misconduct, programmme activities and overall implementation of the programme, as all registered grievances would be expeditiously handled and resolved within 21 days.
She stated that being above board is important to the success of the assignment and admonished the GRM officers not to extort the beneficiaries who are identified to be poor and in need of the support of government.
The Head of Unit, State Cash Transfer, Mr Ezekiel Oladipo, said the officers were expected to handle grievances maturely for the success of the programme.
Mr Oladipo warned the officers against bribery, charging them to be committed, responsible and diligent, while discharging their duties.
“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 interviews about the conduct, implementation programme and staff conduct, among others. Therefore, shun all forms of extortion,” he added.