Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Presidency Starts First Batch Of N5,000 Monthly Payments To One Million Poorest, Vulnerable Nigerians

I As part of its determined efforts to touch the lives of Nigerians positively the Buhari administration has now started the payment of N5, 000 monthly stipends to the poorest and the most vulnerable in the country through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of its Social
Investment Programmes, SIP.

Under the CCT, one million Nigerians would receive N5000 monthly payments as a form of social safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable as budgeted for in the 2016 Budget. In the first batch
that commenced last week, nine states would be covered, and many of the beneficiaries have already reported receiving their first payments by Friday last week, December 30, 2016.

Funds for the commencement of the payments in four states were released last week to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) – the platform that hosts and validates payments for all government’s social intervention programmes. Funds for another set of five states to complete the first batch of nine states would follow soon.

Though the sequence for the payment of the money would be
operationally managed by NIBSS, beneficiaries in Borno, Kwara
and Bauchi States have started receiving the money. The other
states in the first batch to commence the CCT payments are
Cross Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Oyo, Ogun & Ekiti States.

The nine pilot states were chosen because they have an
existing Social Register that successfully identified the most
vulnerable and poorest Nigerians through a tried and tested
community based targeting (CBT) method working with the
World Bank. However other states have already begun
developing their Social Registers and would be included in
subsequent phases of the CCT implementation.

Beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer of the Federal
Government would be mined from the Social Register, initially
developed by 8 States through a direct engagement with the
World Bank. Those states are featured in the first batch, with
the added inclusion of Borno States where a validated list of
IDPS were compiled in addition to the Social Register which is
expected to go round the country.

Working with the World Bank, the CBT process has now been
adopted for developing the Social Register in the other States
around the country, for transparency, objectivity and credibility
in the selection of the poorest and most vulnerable
beneficiaries for the programme.

The Federal Government will actually commence community
mobilization for the creation of the Register in more States
soon, to expand the scope and reach of the CCT across the

Meanwhile, Plateau, Jigawa, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue,
Enugu, Katsina & Taraba States have so far complied with the
stipulated framework provided, and are set for the community
based targeting method for the development of their Social
Register within their jurisdictions.

These States are to be followed by Delta, Gombe, Kaduna,
Kano, Imo and Ogun States. Once the community mobilization,
identification and selection processes are completed, the
information garnered from the poorest households would be
entered onto the Social Register in the states and the National
Register at NIBSS, after which the cash transfers would be
disbursed to the beneficiaries.

All the funds approved for the Federal Government’s Social
Investment Programmes, SIP, are domiciled with the Ministry
of Budget and National Planning. In addition, the payment
information and processes for all beneficiaries of the Federal
Government’s SIP are hosted at NIBSS, as the Consolidated
Beneficiary Register, to ensure and fortify efforts at authentication
and verification, as well as for effective and efficient programme management.

With the commencement of the CCT, the Buhari administration
is now implementing four of the Federal Government’s SIP.

Besides the CCT, the N-Power Volunteer Corps designed to
hire half a million unemployed graduates which has now
engaged 200,000, and the National Homegrown School Feeding
Programme now running in three states, the Bihari administration
has also kicked-off the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, (GEEP).

Under GEEP, soft loans ranging from N10,000 to 100,000 have
been designed for artisans, traders, market women among

Already, thousands of cooperatives, market women
associations, farmers and enterprising youths, have been
identified and registered for the purpose, on an ongoing basis,
and the disbursement of the soft loans through the Bank of
Industry have started since Nov 25, 2016.

At the last count, for the first phase, beneficiaries have been
drawn from the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abia, Adamawa,
Bauchi, Delta, Imo, Kwara, Kano, Katsina, Lagos, Osun, Oyo,
Ogun and Kogi States.

However, disbursements were halted and deferred until after
the festive season. Vetting and approval of beneficiaries are
now being continued through the month, with the expectation
and plan that by month-end disbursements would have been
made to 33,000 beneficiaries.

Regarding the 200,000 beneficiaries of the N-Power
programme, close to 50% of the graduates, have now been
physically verified, and started receiving their monthly
stipends of N30,000 last week. A second batch of 300,000
unemployed graduates are expected to be selected early this
year to make up the half a million target set by the Buhari

The verified graduates are now being deployed to work as
assistant teachers in schools, as community health aides and
as agricultural extension workers, in more than 20 States of the
Federation. These States include; Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi,
Anambra, Benue, Cross Rivers, Borno, Gombe, Edo, Jigawa,
Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Osun, Rivers, Zamfara, Niger, Sokoto,
Ogun and Taraba.

Government has also started the implementation of the
National Home-grown School Feeding programme designed to
feed 5.5 million school children for 200 school days in the first
phase of the programme. Although the initial design was to
feed pupils in 18 States, funding challenges had affected an
earlier take-off. But the programme has now commenced in
Osun, Kaduna and Anambra States. More states are expected
to join this new year.

In the new year, it is the plan of the Federal Government to
scale up the implementation of the SIP to touch the lives of
millions of Nigerians in fulfilment of it’s promises and in
furtherance of its Change agenda.

Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity

Office of the Vice President

January 2, 2017.


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