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FG to spend N20bn on two million Nigerians monthly

Abuja—The Federal government of Nigeria has said it will start paying two million Nigerians the sum of N5,000 each from June this year as basic cash transfers and conditional cash transfers under the National Cash Transfer Programme.

This implies that the government would be spending N20bn on the beneficiaries monthly under the cash transfer scheme that the Federal Government devised to support poor and vulnerable households with cash.

According to reports by Punch newspaper, a March 2022 document on the strategic roadmap and activities of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, showed that the number of people receiving cash transfers from the government had been increasing.

The report stated that in 2018, a total of 19 states were covered under the National Cash Transfer Programme, it then increased to 24 states in 2019 and moved up to 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory in 2022, covering 1.6 million people.

However, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, stated in the document that the number would increase further in June.

“By June 2022 we would be paying two million people N5,000 basic cash transfer and an additional N5,000 on conditional cash transfers, which is conditioned on good health-seeking/behaviour, school retention, and good water and hygiene conditions in their environment/homes,” Farouq stated.

She explained that the ministry came up with a National social register, called the Rapid Response Register to capture urban poor informal workers, who were daily wage earners, working across towns and cities, and impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown.

“To date, of this one million targeted by the government, we have been able to pay the sum of N5000 to 850,000 beneficiaries digitally through the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System, where each account is carefully validated by the system before payment.

“150,000 will be paid by the end of April 2022. Each of these beneficiaries is receiving six months of cash support,” she said.

It was reported that under the Social Register, the ministry stated that 46 million persons in the 36 states and FCT, in 11 million households, had been registered as of 2022.

The ministry noted that the N-Power volunteer scheme provided temporary job opportunities for 498,602 graduates under Batches A and B, while 450,000 graduates under Batch C Stream 1 were also engaged.

It added that 390,000 others were being onboarded for Batch C Stream 2 and that there was presidential approval to enroll additional one million beneficiaries.

It further stated in the document that 174 of the 1,850 mobile agents trained, kitted, and registered with the Central Bank of Nigeria – Shared Agents Network Expansion Facility for agency banking achieved a transaction volume of over N657m between January 1 and March 25, 2022.

“The top 10 mobile money agents executed transactions totaling N300,095,545.06 and earned N1,852,499.00 between January and March 25, 2022,” the ministry stated.

The report indicated that 9.8 million pupils were being fed daily under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, while 127,000 cooks had been engaged and 98 aggregators were supplying various protein products.

The school feeding programme is one of the four clusters of the National Social Investment Programme which seeks to provide one free daily meal to pupils on the programme.

The NHGSFP is designed as a collaboration between the Federal Government and state governments. The Federal Government is responsible for the release of funds, guidelines, policies, and monitoring.

The state carries out the day-to-day implementation including procurement of food items, and selection of cooks and vendors who prepare, cook and serve the meals to the pupils.

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