From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Mrs Falilat Abdurasaq, the Head of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Unit of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Kogi State, has said that payment of N20,000 stipend to beneficiaries achieved a huge success across the state.
Our Correspondent, reports that the CCT is the disbursement of N5,000 monthly stipend to the poor and vulnerable households by the Federal Government under the NSIP.
Abdurasaq told our Correspondent on Tuesday in Lokoja, that disbursement of N20, 000 backlogs of four months’ stipends covering January to April 2021 to over 74, 000 beneficiaries in Kogi, commenced August 26 and ended on September 13.
”We thank God Almighty for his protection and success of the exercise in spite of having more than double of the beneficiaries we have been paying before, the disbursement recorded a huge success.
”It was a hitch free exercise as there was no case of robbery or any form of attack on our officials; so, it was very successful, and we achieved over 90 per cent success across the state”, she said.
She, however said that they experienced some challenges in hard to reach rural communities in Ibaji and Bassa Local Government Areas due to bad and non-motorable roads caused by flooding.
Abdulrasaq stressed that it was a very bad situation that they had to pay through their nose to get to those communities in order not to deprived the beneficiaries of their stipends.
”But in spite of all these challenges, we thank God we are able to reach out to over 90 per cent of our beneficiaries across the 21 local government areas of the state”, she said.
She noted that the essence of the cash transfer was in fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, saying the beneficiaries were excited with the exercise.
Abdulrasaq stressed that the CCT was targeted at the poorest of the poor in other to bring them out of poverty, saying it had greatly impacted the lives of the beneficiaries.
She explained that beneficiaries had developed saving culture through different forms of contributory savings, acquired skills and assets individually and in groups.
She emphasised that the beneficiaries’ wellbeing and consumption level had improved tremendously overtime.
She, however advised the beneficiaries to judiciously utilise the money for its intended purpose, and not forget their statutory responsibility of forming themselves into groups for their own benefits.
She commended Gov. Yahaya Bello, for his support through the office of the Kogi NSIP Focal Person, Abdulkareem Onyekehi; security agencies, local government chairmen and everybody that contributed to the success of the exercise.
She, however implored the state government to sustain the program at the exit of the federal government, saying ”we are hopeful at the exit of the federal government, the state government would continue the program”’.