The Federal Government has commenced the disbursement of N20,000 stipend to each of over 74,000 beneficiaries in Kogi State, under its Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
The same process has also been initiated in Sokoto State.
The CCT is the payment of the N5,000 monthly stipend to the poor and the vulnerable households under the NSIP through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the payment venue on Saturday at Abocho, Dekina Local Government Area (LGA), Falilat Abdurasaq, the Head of Kogi State CCT Unit, said that the essence of cash transfer was to fulfil President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
She said that the disbursement started on Thursday, and over 7,000 beneficiaries have received N20,000 each across Dekina LGA.
She explained that the N20,000 was meant for four months’ stipends of N5,000 monthly for January, February, March and April 2021.
According to Ms Abdulrasaq, all the 21 LGAs in the state have been benefiting and will benefit from the current payments.
She stressed that the CCT was targeted at the poorest of the poor in other to bring them out of poverty, adding that it had impacted the lives of the beneficiaries through the training they received on group formation.
”Our beneficiaries have developed the culture of saving money and are into different forms of contributory savings like “Ajo, issue”, among others.
”They have also acquired skills and assets individually and in groups across the State. Their consumption level has improved over time,” she said.
She, however, advised the beneficiaries to always use the money for its intended purpose, and continue to attend training, coaching and mentoring sessions to improve their lives, saying ”because with Cash Transfer, ‘Beta Don Come’. ”
Ms Abdulrasaq commended Governor Yahaya Bello, for his great support and commitment to the welfare of the people of Kogi State, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
Some beneficiaries who spoke with NAN expressed joy over the payment and thanked President Buhari and Governor Bello for the kind gesture towards the poor and vulnerable at the grassroots.
Yusuf, Agagwu, and Hauwa Musa, who are all widows from Elika, Ogbabede and Olowa communities respectively, eulogised the federal government for bringing succour to them and improving their wellbeing.
”The money has transformed my life and my three children because I am a widow, and I have been able to start a small business,” Ms Musa said.
Also, the Federal Government has begins the disbursement of a monthly stipend of N5,000 under the CCT in Sokoto State.
The National Project Accountant, Jafar Ibrahim-Yabo, who represented the humanitarian minister, flagged off the disbursement in the Tambuwal Local Government Area of Sokoto state.
Mr Ibrahim-Yabo said 3,165 beneficiaries from six local government areas would obtain the payment in the present circle of disbursement.
He added that in the next circle, no fewer than 75,000 beneficiaries will be targeted.
Mr Ibrahim-Yabo reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to enhancing peoples’ lives through valuable programmes and urged beneficiaries to be patient if there are delays in the disbursements.
According to him, the present scheme is Household Uplifting Programme (HUP), introduced by the federal government in 2016, to fortify the social safety net.
He explained that the programme is aimed at helping the poor exit poverty, prevent the poor and the vulnerable from sinking further into poverty and build resilience to withstand shock and risks.
The accountant added that the gesture would surely continue to improve household consumption and enhance the economy of the affected communities, among other benefits.
The Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto on Social investment, Hayatu Tafida, urged beneficiaries to make judicious use of the funds.
Also, the Head of Sokoto State Cash Transfer Unit, Abubakar Bianchi, highlighted the successes recorded so far and urged the beneficiaries to maintain the culture of saving.
Some of the beneficiaries, Altine Hassan, Mardiyya Bello and Hassana Isiyaku commended the federal governments for the gesture.
The beneficiaries said that the money would go a long way in boosting their respective small-scale businesses and enhance their living standards.
They urged the federal government to ensure that the payment remains constant to lift the beneficiaries out of poverty as targeted.