Excitement as beneficiaries collect FG's N5,000 stipend
Hope rises for the critically poor and vulnerable in Nigeria as the Federal Government's Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) has taken off in parts of the country.
Yesterday, beneficiaries in Kwara State, particularly Ilorin, the state capital, trooped to Stanbic IBTC to collect the N5,000 monthly stipend.
Most of the beneficiaries were from Ilorin West Local Government Area. Several of them expressed delight that, after a long wait, the exercise eventually took off.
The banking hall was full of beneficiaries when our reporter visited yesterday. It was observed that some of them had challenges with the mobile numbers they had used to register for the fund not corresponding with the ones being used by the caregiver who was expected to collect the money on behalf of the household.
Findings revealed that the money was actually meant for a household, considered to be the most vulnerable to poverty in a community, and not an individual.
A caregiver, in most cases a woman, selected from the household, is the one who comes to the bank to cash the money.
Each beneficiary was also being paid N10,000 according to Hajia Aminat Yahaya Bagudu, Desk Officer for the CCT in the state, who explained that the money would be paid six times in a year, to make room for the logistics involved in the payment and also ensure that beneficiaries have some sizeable funds to work with.
Alhaji Ayuba Lawal, a 75-year-old man from Obanisuwa, Waraosin in Egbejila Ward of Ilorin West Local Government Area, who came to collect the money on behalf of his household, said most beneficiaries had been waiting for about three years when they were first enumerated.
Other beneficiaries, who spoke with our correspondent after collecting the money yesterday, included Suliat Ibrahim (80) from Ile Lanigba, Ipata Oloje, AbdulRahman Asajemase from Asajemasa family of Magaji Ngeri area of Ilorin, Amope Kolawole (75) from Badari, Moro Magaji from Magaji Ngeri, and AbdulRahman Alao (70) from Tetenge Apeleke, Alanamu area of Ilorin.
Hajia Suliat, who showed her money to our correspondent, said she collected only N7,500, deciding to leave some money in the bank. Individually, they expressed joy and showered prayers on the Federal Government.
Amope Kolawole said: "Yes, I have received the money and sincerely it is very timely for me.
I am grateful and I pray for all of you who have done this for me." Bagudu explained that most beneficiaries from the rural areas without access to mobile phones would be paid through a consultant appointed by the bank.
She said: "We have had a meeting today and all of us are meeting again on Friday to finalise how that will be done."
With Bagudu was Elder Ayobola Samuel, the Focal Person for FG Social Intervention Programmes in the state.
She added that about 1,080 households in 360 communities spread across 12 local government areas of the state were benefiting from the first phase of the programme in Kwara State.
The second phase, according to her, will cover Oyun, Irepodun, Baruten and Ekiti local government areas which are yet to have their respective Single Register; a data base of the poor and vulnerable.
The data base, she explained, was generated under the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) operated by the World Bank and it involved selected Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) visiting communities and asking them during a Community Dialogue session to give their definition of poverty.
"Once they have done that, they are then asked to mention people in that community who fell into that category and it is from there that they would go and verify the claims and that was how the data was generated without any political input," she said.
Meanwhile, the Kwara Government has confirmed that some targeted residents in the state have started having their accounts credited with the stipend since Friday.
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Ayinke Saka, confirmed this to journalists in Ilorin yesterday.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, had in a statement said one million Nigerians would receive N5,000 monthly payment as a form of social safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable in the society.
The amount was captured in the 2016 budget that would run till May this year. Also, the Bauchi State government said that about 10,800 poor people would soon benefit from the CCT in 360 communities in the state.
The Special Adviser (SA) to Governor Mohammed Abubakar on Development Partners, Mr. Mansur Soro, made this known to journalists in Bauchi yesterday. Soro said that each of the beneficiaries would receive N5,000, while the disbursement would commence before the end of January.
The SA said the state team was on the field for biometric capturing of the beneficiaries and that they would access their funds through Guaranty Trust Bank.
He said: Bauchi was selected due to the existing social register that successfully identified the most vulnerable and poorest in the country through tested Community Based Targeting (CBT). "The CCT is a Federal Government programme that will disburse N5,000 to the poor.
"The beneficiaries were selected from Bauchi, Alkaleri, Tafawa Balawe, Dass, Ganjuwa, Gamawa, Giade, Jamare, Itas/Gadau, Misau and Katagum and Ningi local government areas."