FG Begins Payment Of N5000 Stipend To Vulnerable Nigerians

The Federal government has begun payment of N5000 to vulnerable
Nigerians. A statement released by the Special Assistant to Vice
President Yemi Osinbajo on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande today, says
out of the Nine states earmarked for the kickoff of the scheme, four of
the states have already been funded and their participants have started
receiving bank alerts.

The statement says 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.Laolu in the statement also disclosed that 50% of graduates
enrolled in the Federal Government N-Power programme have started
receiving their N30,000 salaries.

The statement also disclosed that the Federal Government has also
started the implementation of the National Home-grown School Feeding
programme which is 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. However the programme has
commenced in Osun, Kaduna and Anambra States.
Read the full statement..

Funds for the commencement of the conditional cash transfer 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 country.
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 Buhari 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 others.
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
administration. 

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 fulfillment of it’s promises and in furtherance of its
Change agenda.