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1m cash transfer beneficiaries get N50b every two months, says FG

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Iorwa

Some N50 billion is disbursed every two months by the Federal Government to about one million beneficiaries of its cash transfer programme across the federation from the repatriated Abacha loot of $325 million and the World Bank facility of $500 million over five years.

The National Coordinator, National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Apera Iorwa, made the disclosure at a meeting with stakeholders on NASSP Year 1 Third Party Monitoring Exercises organised by the Centre for Health Education, Economic Rehabilitation and Social Security (CHEERS) in Abuja yesterday.

He said each beneficiary that was to get N5000 monthly eventually gets paid N10,000 every two months due to logistics.

Apera explained that the programme at first started with 19 states as far back as 2016/2017, and in 2018 with the World Bank loan, the project extended to 24 states and finally reaching the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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The coverage, according to him, depended on how the state governments were able to establish their respective social registers.

He clarified: “It is a total projection of $822 million for over five years. We pay about N50 billion in every payment cycle and this is through the World Bank facility of $500 million over five years and the use of the repatriated Abacha loot of $325 million that has been given to the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) by the government. The disbursement started in 2018 and has been running till date.”

The national coordinator noted that at the moment, there are 35.2 million individuals from 8.2 million households in the social registers of the 36 states and FCT, adding that out of the 35.2 million individuals, about 49 per cent of them are female, while 68 per cent are illiterates.

Apera stated that the cash transfer had also boosted school children enrolment, as their parents had been empowered to procure books and uniforms for them.

Besides, he said 1.3 million people living with disabilities, representing 4. 8 per cent of the population, were equally benefitting from the programme.

Also speaking, CHEERS’ Executive Director, Ajia Ogugua Agagbo, pointed out that his body led 23 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) selected by NASSCO through the World Bank procurement system to monitor and independently report on the key objectives of the scheme, adding that the TMP report on the 19 states covered 235,744 beneficiaries, representing 50 per cent of the total of 462,990 on the payroll of the NCTO during the year one, spanning September 2019 to August 2020.

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She said: “Today, we are giving the report on the scorecard of the project for the past one year. There were challenges. Of course, you know there is no project you will undertake without challenges and we have identified some of them. For instance, there were many persons that complained that they were not captured in the social safety net registrar and so were not carried along in the execution of the project.”

Agagbo continued: “It is not CHEERS that complied the social safety net registrar but the World Bank which went round the communities to verify the status of the beneficiaries.”

What we did was to monitor and ensure that the cash transfers got to each beneficiary.

“The second challenge we have is that the project did not cover all the states but we are happy that NASSP has said that the project will soon be rolled out in the remaining 18 states through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. For those that are already captured, there are areas where we are having issues. One of them is Bauchi. The beneficiaries are yet to receive their payment for one reason or the other.”

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Apera IorwaNASSCO
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