The minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Sadiya Umar-Faruk, has disclosed that a total number of 23,893 beneficiaries across 3 Area Council, Abaji, Kuje and Kwali, will benefit from federal government Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT).
Umar-Faruk stated this in Abuja on Thursday at the launching of the payment of stipends to the beneficiaries of the household uplifting-conditional cash transfer Program (HUP-CCT) in FCT.
She appreciated the World Bank for their patience and support in designing and implementing the programme while saying that the pause became necessary because of a change in administration/management; tweaking of payment modalities to respond to cashless realities, security concerns and digitization of the payment processes for improvement and enhanced service delivery, ensuring value for money, transparency and accountability; and most importantly the effects of restrictions on mass gathering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The payment of beneficiaries is recommencing and with a total number of 23,893 beneficiaries across 3 area Councils, (Abaji, Kuje and Kwali). The officials of the Programme will provide all relevant details on the payments as they proceed with this re-commencement. Digitization
“The Ministry has directed the NCTO to proceed with a phased migration of the beneficiaries from offline payment systems to open online systems using accounts opened by licensed Payment Service Providers (PSPs) that include Commercial Banks, Microfinance Banks, Payments Service Banks and Mobile Money Operators.
“With this development, beneficiaries can access or control their accounts through the use of Personal Identification Numbers (PIN), perform all transactions like withdrawal, bank transfers and bill payments etc. For now, 25% of the beneficiaries are targeted and we will gradually extend this to all beneficiaries as far as industry constraints would allow,” she added.
The Coordinator of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme Hajiya Halima Shehu commended the minister for the recommencement of the programme which has now been upgraded for transparency and equity.
“This program focuses on digitization and financial inclusion. The Honourable minister must be commended for her relentless efforts in transforming the
Conditional Cash Transfer Programme from the one that brings beneficiaries’ stipends through virtual accounts to the one that is now transactional with features for savings, withdrawals and transfer of funds. This will enable the beneficiaries to have sustainable transactional accounts to meet the current economic realities”, Shehu said.
Earlier, the National Coordinator Dr Umar Bindir urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the stipends and also borrow interest-free loans from the revamped Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme GEEP 2.0 which was launched on Tuesday.
On his part, the director, FCT state cash transfer, Dr Luka Ayuba, said the loans will go a long way in helping beneficiaries to expand their business and also use it to sponsor their children in their education.
The CCT which is an approved partnership with the World Bank is designed and developed as a safety nets programme for Nigeria under a broadbased platform of the National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP).