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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: October 21, 2023

Cash Transfer: FG Speaks On Eligibility, CBN To Begin Disbursement

Cash Transfer: FG Speaks On Eligibility, CBN To Begin Disbur

The Federal Government while getting set to commence cash transfers in the country to alleviate poverty across Nigeria has also revealed those who won't be eligible for the cash transfer.

The government of President Bola Tinubu will transmit the funds directly to the recipients, rather than through consultants, via the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The first set of bulk payments for five million families would begin next week.

The Conditional Cash Transfer system is part of the Federal Government's National Social Investment Programme, which is an initiative designed to improve the lives of millions of Nigerians living in severe poverty, raise their living standards, and boost the economy.

On the occasion of the 2023 International Day for the Abolition of Poverty, President Tinubu announced a three-month distribution of N25,000 to 15 million households as a social safety net intervention on Tuesday in Abuja.

The goal is to lessen the impact of the recent termination of fuel subsidies while also assisting in the eradication of poverty throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government is revising and enlarging the National Social Register to include retirees and ex-servicemen under its Conditional Cash Transfer programme.

It is also deleting those who have risen beyond the poverty threshold.

In addition, the government is removing deceased beneficiaries from the register and rejecting those who do not have National Identification Numbers or Bank Verification Numbers.

Rasheed Olanrewaju, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation told Punch in an interview that the cash transfer plan has been reviewed and enlarged.

When questioned if the Federal Government will utilise the previous register used by former President Muhammadu Buhari's government to transfer the money, he stated, "We are using a verified expanded register that has pensioners and veterans, as well as other vulnerable persons who were not captured."

Confirming the minister's media aide's viewpoint, Jamaldeen Kabir, the National Communications Manager of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, indicated that individuals who had moved out of poverty were being removed from the registry. 

“What he (Olanrewaju) told you is very correct because the register is being expanded. First of all, it has to be verified so that those who are out of the poverty line will be removed from the old register.

“Those in the register, are they still within the poverty line or have they exited the line? The expansion will also include the wives of fallen heroes and pensioners.”

When asked when the cash transfers would begin, Olanrewaju stated that although bulk payments would begin next week, some of the individuals who had been vetted had already been receiving payment alerts. 

“The cash transfer (scheme) has been launched and once a household is verified, they get paid. The batches begin this month, next week to be precise; however, verified people have started receiving alerts."

"Actually, when the programme was launched at the Presidential Villa three days ago, some beneficiaries were presented with some cheques," Kabir remarked when asked when the financial transfers would begin.

“So, before this month ends, the beneficiaries in the first phase will receive theirs, and this phase caters to five million households. So, we are expecting those five million households to receive money in the months of October, November and December.”

The minister's adviser stated that several steps had been put in place to make the system legitimate, such as the establishment of the NIN and BVN, when asked how many ghost beneficiaries had been detected.

“They may not be ghosts, but we have put in place many controls to make the process credible and clean. First, we looked for the NIN and BVN to match with in-person verification and biometrics.

"The process is from the CBN to the beneficiaries; there are no middlemen.

"We have struck off many names following the verification. We'll know the ultimate sum in a few weeks; it might be in the millions". 

“Some are dead; some are no longer in that category (of the poor) and some could not be identified at locations given, so wait till we get the compilation ready.

"All these will be determined when the final report is out. At the moment, the names will be placed in communities and we will compensate those who have been properly confirmed. 

“Fifteen million households amount to about 62 million individuals, with an average of five persons per household", he concluded. 

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