16 October 2012

Nigeria: FG Commits N5 Billion to Conditional Cash Transfer

As part of the ongoing efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the federal government has committed N5bn to the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Scheme for 2012 to reduce poverty among the populace.

It also launched the biometric data capturing device to ensure that monies released get to the right people.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol made this known in Abuja in a sensitisation workshop for the scale-up of the CCT. She noted that poverty was a potent threat to peace and that conceited efforts were required to address the issue. She revealed that that previously only 12 states benefited from the scheme, but that it has now been scaled up to 24.

According to her, "This will enable interventions in about 56,250 households within the year. Each of these households will be entitled to a monthly grant of N5,000 and a lump sum of N100,000 at the end of one year within which they will have been trained and would be able to start a trade."

Gbeneol further informed that the MDG MIS system would reduce duplication while informing that the MDG Office was partnering with banks to increase funds and make pay point available in each community "before people will take money and deny that they are not the ones that took it. We looked at all of that and decided that this is the line of action. We want the people to get the money themselves."

On his part, Chairman of the Senate Committee on MDGs, Sen. Ali Ndume, admonished stakeholders to speak less and do more, noting that if the issue of poverty was addressed, factors such as inequality, HIV prevalence and tuberculosis would be solved.

He also urged them to be committed to the scheme and not convert the monies for personal use.

"We should all be passionate. I myself jumped from Almajiri to a senator. In those days the government is there to fill in the gaps of what our parents could not do," he said.

From the provisions given to me in school I took back to my family to use. But these days all these things are not there, the government is using this venue to fill in the space. Please you must do the right thing. If you touch the money meant for the poor God will be hard on you."

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