17 January 2013

Nigeria: Sure-P - FCT Starts Payment to Pregnant Women

The management of Federal Capital Territory has kick-started the pilot implementation of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) in the Territory.

The CCT which is targeted at expectant mothers and those who had just been delivered of a baby had its State Steering Committee in the FCT inaugurated on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to the Director of SURE-P Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programme, Dr. Ugo OKoli the MCH was designed to contribute to the reduction of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality.

She added that it also aspire "to place Nigeria on track to achieve the 5th and 5th MDGs as well as contribute to the Save a Million Lives Initiative by rapidly scaling up the Midwives Service Scheme."

The CCT Pilot programme will be implemented in 9 states across the 6 geo-political zones of the country.

Getting the money

Dr. Okoli said the programme is divided into two components; Supply and Demand components in order to ensure maximum results.

She explained that the Supply Component involves provision of: Primary Health Care facilities, health workers, infrastructural upgrades and commodities to enable sufficient and qualitative service delivery.

While explaining that the supply component was almost concluded, the Director said the introduction of incentives is a part of the Demand Component of the programme.

"As soon as they register while pregnant and continue to go for their ante-natal and post-natal medications, they will get the money."

She said the cash incentive is N5000.00 which will be disbursed twice and through a trusted procedure to avoid irregularities.

Steering Committee

While inaugurating the committee, the FCT Secretary for Health and Human Services, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya said the Territory was determined to help ensure the successful implementation of the programme.

The committee is expected to supervise the payment days for beneficiaries as well as monitor and track implementation of the CCT Pilot programme amongst others.

While pointing out that ensuring that residents within the FCT get asses to health facilities was top on the government's agenda, Dr. Onakomaiya enjoined members of the Committee to work harmoniously in ensuring that the government's aims were achieved.

The committee is made up of representatives of the FCT secretariats for Health and Human Services, Local Government Area Council, Women Affairs, State Primary Health Care Board and representatives of the traditional and religious leaders in the FCT.

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